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Report: Arsenal target who Lionel Messi deems a ‘phenomenon’ could soon be available on loan

(Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Arsenal

Report: Arsenal target who Lionel Messi deems a ‘phenomenon’ could soon be available on loan

Reported Arsenal target Ousmane Dembele could be made available on loan by Barcelona this summer, according to the Daily Mail.

Arsenal were linked with the France international in April, Spanish outlet Sport saying the Gunners and Liverpool had registered their interest.

Dembele joined Barcelona in the summer of 2017 for a €105million (£97million) fee plus add-ons, and arrived at Camp Nou to much fanfare.

The 22-year-old has made 74 competitive appearances for Barca, registering 19 goals and 17 assists.

(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

However, Dembele’s time at Camp Nou has been hampered by injuries, with 2019-20 seeing him make just nine appearances in all competitions.

Barcelona are believed to be in financial difficulty and as such are reportedly looking to offload several players as well as being open to offers for others.

According to the Daily Mail, Barca are open to a similar deal to the one that took Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich last summer.

 

The Bundesliga side paid around 12million Euros (£10.7million) for the one-year loan, plus the player’s wages.

They had the option of buying Coutinho for 120million Euros when the season ends, which has not been taken up, as reported by Sky Sports.

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A sad state of affairs for both Barca, who are reportedly cash-strapped and willing to loan out a player that cost £105million just to get him off their wage bill, as well as for Dembele, whose stock has fallen so dramatically since his heroics at Borussia Dortmund.

It’s tricky for Arsenal – on one hand, Dembele is a young player whose talent and credentials all point to a superstar in the making, a versatile attacker who has received plaudits by the truckload, including from Lionel Messi, who previously deemed him a “phenomenon”.

On the other, his injury record is somewhat concerning, and 74 competitive appearances in just under three years, no matter the reason, seems a risk – and considering he’s reported to earn £210,000-a-week, that works out at just under £11million over one year, plus however much the loan fee would be.

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