Arsenal are reportedly interested in a move for Ousmane Dembele. It is reported by Diario AS that Arsenal are one of the teams interested in the Barcelona star, who has struggled to find his best form since a big-money move to the Catalan giants.
Barcelona agreed a reported (BBC Sport) £135.5 million deal to sign the French talent from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017, starting at an initial £96.8 million and potentially rising.
It was a deal that actually caught the eye of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The Gunners had previously been linked with the forward whilst at Stade Rennais and Wenger was clearly perplexed at the mammoth fee the young countryman was commanding.
He told beIN Sports, as quoted by Metro, that Dembele’s fee represented a complete ‘disconnect from reality’.
“The amount of money is completely disconnected to reality and the truth.
“I give you one example: no matter how well you work as a football coach – Dembele last year was 15 (million), this year 150 – no matter how well you work on the football pitch, you cannot make a player go from 15 to 150.”
At the time, plenty of Arsenal fans and critics used Wenger’s comments as a reason why the club were failing to progress, amid more frustration at a lack of investment.
Now, the Blaugrana are hopeful of recovering as much of that initial fee as possible, with a reported £80 million price-tag on his head.
That would still make Dembele Arsenal’s record signing, overtaking the signature of Nicolas Pepe from last summer.
But considering his previous price-tag, Arsenal might be keen to make the deal possible – even if Wenger would not approve of the price-tag.