La Liga

Koeman responds to Dembele exit rumours

The former Dortmund winger has been linked with a move away from the Camp Nou before the transfer window closes

 
1:23pm on Wednesday 30th September 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Ronald Koeman has addressed rumours regarding a potential exit for Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, saying it is up to the club and the player if he leaves.

Following Barca's humiliating exit from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern, Quique Setien was sacked and replaced by Koeman for the 2020/21 campaign.

The Dutchman was tasked with initiating a squad overhaul as the 2019/21 season presented the first time in 12 years that Barcelona failed to win a major trophy.

Only a select few players were believed to be not for sale, and Dembele wasn't one of them.

With Manchester United failing to land primary target Jadon Sancho, they have now turned their attention to the Frenchman, who has failed to live up to expectations in Catalunya since his huge €105m plus add-ons move from Dortmund in 2017.

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Injuries have ravaged his time with Barca, too, as in 2019/20 he featured just five times in La Liga.

With Man Utd reportedly keen on a deal, Koeman was asked about a potential exit for Dembele.

"The first thing to say is that it is up to the club and to the player," the Dutchman told reporters this week.

"But he is with us and as we've seen in recent weeks I am counting on him....he has to wait to play but he is training well, getting fitter.

Koeman did say that Dembele effectively remains part of his plans, however, by saying that he is counting on him moving forward, should he stay at the club.

"I want to say that I am counting on him."

Barcelona made an impressive start to life under Koeman at the weekend as in their opening match of the season they defeated Villarreal 4-0.

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