Borussia Dortmund have rejected Barcelona’s opening offer for Ousmane Dembélé and suspended the France forward after he went AWOL in an attempt to force a transfer to Barca.
Dortmund have said the France forward is “unlikely” to move to Spain unless they receive an improved offer, despite reports in France and Germany suggesting the 20-year-old is on the verge of signing for Barça.
A statement from the German club confirmed the offer – understood to be €100m – had been rejected.
“There has been a discussion with Barcelona in regards to a possible transfer of Ousmane Dembélé,” read the statement, which was released to the German stock exchange.
“In these talks Barcelona have presented an offer that does not match the extraordinary footballing and otherwise status of the player and also not the current market situation. BVB have turned this offer down.
“And as there is no other offer from Barcelona a transfer should not be expected and is at this moment in time unlikely.”
Dortmund’s sporting director later said Dembélé would be fined and suspended for their next match.
“Ousmane Dembélé missed training without notifying the club and has clearly taken this action consciously. We will obviously sanction him for this,” Michael Zorc said.
“We have also suspended the player until after the cup game at the weekend.”
There are reports that Dortmund are holding out for €150m for Dembélé, a remarkable amount considering they got him for a tenth of that just 12 months ago.
But the German side feel that the pressure is on Barcelona to do something big this summer to replace Neymar, and with Liverpool not budging on Coutinho, they feel that Barca will be forced to meet their demands.