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Barcelona Reportedly Make €70M Ousmane Dembele Bid After Neymar Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2017

GUANGZHOU, CHINA - JULY 18:  #7 Ousmane Dembele of Dortmund in action during the 2017 International Champions Cup football match between AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund at University Town Sports Centre Stadium on July 18, 2017 in Guangzhou, China.  (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)
Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

Barcelona have lodged a €70 million (£63 million) bid for Borussia Dortmund star Ousmane Dembele.

That's according to Gianluca Di Marzio, who has noted that while the offer is "significant," it will not be enough to convince the Bundesliga giants to cash in on the Frenchman.

Barcelona have made their move for Dembele after losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee.

"The negotiations for Dembele are closely related to Milan's pursuit of [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang," Di Marzio reported. "Borussia will not sell both players, so at the moment the Rossoneri have to hope that Dembele himself declines the opportunity to join the Blaugrana, which can then allow Aubameyang to leave."

Dembele appears to have emerged as a target for Barcelona after breaking out as one of the most exciting players in the game in recent years.

Neymar's departure means Barca must restructure their attack.
Neymar's departure means Barca must restructure their attack.ALAIN JOCARD/Getty Images

During the 2015-16 season, the winger excelled in Ligue 1 at Stade Rennais and earned a move to Dortmund last summer. He was a standout man for the German giants in 2016-17, giving Thomas Tuchel's side an exhilarating edge on the flanks.

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As these numbers from WhoScored.com show, he was the most reliable provider for Aubameyang too:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Ousmane Dembélé to P-E Aubameyang: Was the best assist-to-goalscorer return (10 goals) in Europe's top 5 leagues last season https://t.co/zr9qbkLYh3

In terms of style, Dembele would be a smart replacement for Neymar. While Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are exceptional players, they were supplemented by the Brazilian's explosiveness and flair to great effect. It's that blend of attributes that made the MSN strike force so effective.

Messi and Suarez need a new partner in attack.
Messi and Suarez need a new partner in attack.HECTOR RETAMAL/Getty Images

With Neymar gone, Barca need to find another player who can add that penetration—someone who can capitalise on Messi's incredible vision and Suarez's ability to occupy multiple defenders.

Dembele, while still raw in some facets of his game, has shown he has the potential to fulfil that role. Football writer Liam Canning believes signing Dembele should be top of Barcelona's agenda:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

Who do Barcelona have to sign with the €222m received from Neymar to get back to the top? Ousmane Dembélé should be their #1 priority.

Getting him to the Camp Nou may prove a challenge, though. After all, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told Eurosport that Dembele will "definitely stay" at Westfalenstadion during this transfer window (h/t ESPN FC).

Watzke also said that a €100 million (£90 million) would not be enough to convince Dortmund to sell Dembele. After they received £200 million for Neymar, clubs will be aware the Blaugrana have a mass of money to spend in the remainder of this transfer window and will be keen to bring in as much of that in return for their players as they can.

Even so, Dortmund have cashed in on their star men in the past, and you sense that if Barca's interest continues to intensify, they will do so again with Dembele.

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