Arsenal in talks over La Liga star with £334m release clause - journalist
Arsenal are in talks with the representatives of Ousmane Dembele, according to Ian McGarry of the Transfer Window Podcast.
The transfer journalist claims Gunners boss Mikel Arteta rates the Barcelona ace “very highly”.
Arsenal are one of several teams reportedly eyeing Dembele, likely one of the most highly sought-after players this year.
Dembele is out of contract at the end of the season and can sign a pre-contract agreement with another club.
Barca have reportedly been pushing for the 24-year-old to sign a new deal. However, Dembele is yet to pen new terms.
Some reports have claimed he’s stalling on a new offer; others – like McGarry – claim he’s rejected it outright.
“It is the case that Arsenal are currently speaking to Ousmane Dembele’s agents,” said McGarry.
“The Barcelona striker/winger is available under freedom of contract in the summer.
“He has rejected Barcelona’s new deal and Mikel Arteta is someone who rates the winger very highly, while Dembele’s time at Camp Nou hasn’t been the happiest.”
Dembele joined Barca to much fanfare in 2017, arriving from Borussia Dortmund for a reported £97million.
His release clause is a staggering 400m euro (£334million), testament to how high expectations were of him.
However, Dembele’s time at the club hasn’t been smooth sailing amid a myriad of injury troubles.
He has made just 87 La Liga appearances during that time, with just four starts this season.
Dembele wouldn’t be right for Arsenal at this moment in time – TBR View
While Dembele is a player of high quality, Arsenal are well stocked on the wings.
Bukayo Saka is one of the first names on Arteta’s teamsheet on the right, while Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe vie to start on the left.
If anything, Arsenal need to strengthen in the centre and bring in a No. 9, and that’s not Dembele’s natural position.
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