Barcelona have stepped up their efforts in signing Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele after allowing Neymar join Paris Saint-Germain.
The Brazilian international left Camp Nou and completed a world-record move to Parc des Princes after PSG decided to pay Neymar’s €222m (£198m, $263.7m) release clause. The Catalan club have drawn a list of players who can replace the former Santos man at the club.
According to the French publication L ‘Equipe, Barcelona have made signing Dembele as a priority in the summer transfer window. The La Liga giants want to act fast in finding a replacement for Neymar.
Dembele is believed to be close to agreeing on personal terms with Ernesto Valverde’s side, who is under contract at Signal Iduna Park until 2021. Barcelona are not the only club interested in signing the player.
Their league rivals Real Madrid are also believed to be keen on signing the France international. However, the Blaugrana are head of the Champions League and the La Liga winners in the race for the Dortmund attacker.
Dembele joined the Bundesliga outfit from Rennes last summer. Prior to his switch to Dortmund in 2016, he was wanted by top clubs across Europe, including Barcelona. The Spanish club have since maintained their contact with the player’s entourage.
Any move for Dembele to Barcelona or either Real will see them meet Dortmund’s asking price. The German outfit will only consider sanctioning his sale if and only if the interested clubs could meet their valuation above €100m (£90m, $117.2m).
Meanwhile, Dembele has expressed his delight after he has been linked with a move to Barcelona.
“(Barcelona) is a great club and all players would like to play at a club like that,” Dembele told Gol.
“It is a pleasure to be able to see your name on the list of players who Barcelona want. We’ll be calm and see what happens.”
Demebele has scored 10 goals and registered 18 assists in all competitions, which includes two goals and six assists in 10 appearances in the Champions League.