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Liverpool will reportedly target Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele as a loan signing this summer after the Frenchman has failed to have the desired impact since moving to the Camp Nou.
SFR Sport (h/t Martin Domin of the Mirror) reported the Reds are targeting a temporary signing with the option of making a deal permanent at a latter date.
Dembele’s debut season in Spain has seen him restricted to only 21 appearances across all competitions, with more than three months of the campaign missed due to a thigh injury.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently ruled out the chance of his club selling Dembele this summer, although nothing was said of a loan departure, per RAC 1 (h/t Goal):
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has ruled out the sale of Liverpool-linked Ousmane Dembele. ❌ https://t.co/m8LrmtTzjS
It’s difficult to think the Blaugrana would give up on their investment after only one injury-hit season, particularly when Dembele was and still is considered one of the biggest prospects in world football.
Liverpool already have a star lineup of starting wingers in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who have helped shape the club’s attack this season. However, writer Sam McGuire thinks a move for Dembele may suggest one of those is leaving:
Sam McGuire @SamMcGuire90
@FirmLFC @Waz612 I just don’t see why we’d bring in Fekir and Dembele if one of Mané or Salah weren’t leaving.
The 20-year-old was a success at both those clubs but now has to replicate that on an even greater stage at Barca, a challenge that’s so far proved troublesome.
Klopp was quizzed on the speculation linking his side with a move for the youngster, and the German joked about his interest, per Goal’s Neil Jones:
Neil Jones @neiljonesgoal
Klopp asked about Nabil Fekir. “During the game, we agreed a deal?! I would be surprised about that to be honest. No comment.” And Ousmane Dembele “Oooh, is he on the market? Now i am interested! I never comment on transfer rumours.” #LFC
As well as seeming odd that Barca might consider handing Dembele off after only a year in Catalonia, it’s also a risk for Liverpool to take on a player whose first campaign in La Liga has been so complicated.
The Merseysiders could benefit from rejuvenating the forward back to his former self, but decision is far from an easy one.