Report: Barcelona Tell Ousmane Dembele to Find a New Club in January

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IOctober 29, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 20: Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona  during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Sevilla at the Camp Nou on October 20, 2018 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona have reportedly told Ousmane Dembele to look for a new club when the transfer window reopens in January. 

According to RAC1 (h/t The Sun's Joshua Jones), Barcelona are willing to let the Frenchman leave after less than two seasons at the club.

Premier League sides Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool could all be interested in signing the 21-year-old, who cost Barcelona £97 million in the summer of 2017, per Jones.

Dembele endured a tough start to his Barcelona career. He came to the club in the wake of Neymar's departure for Paris Saint-Germain and with expectations raised by his huge price tag.

However, his first season was largely interrupted by injury, and he failed to have the impact expected from such a high-profile signing.

The youngster started his second campaign far more brightly. He scored in the Spanish Super Cup win over Sevilla and also netted in victories over Huesca, Real Valladolid, Real Sociedad and PSV Eindhoven.

Yet Dembele has lost his place in the team to summer signing Arthur in recent weeks. The midfielder started ahead of Dembele in the UEFA Champions League win over Tottenham Hotspur and has retained his place with a series of impressive showings:

Dembele has remained on the bench even with Lionel Messi now out injured with a broken arm. Manager Ernesto Valverde started Rafinha over Dembele in the wins over Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

However, Dembele did make a positive impact when he came off the bench in the 5-1 Clasico win:

There have been reports Dembele has caused concern in the Barcelona dressing room with his "disciplinary problems," according to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Naveen Ullal of Sport Witness).

Albert Aubach of Sport also reported that Dembele arrived almost half an hour later for Barcelona's game against Inter Milan.

Valverde brushed off the reports in his pre-match press conference ahead of El Clasico, per Marca's Xavi Hernandez. He said: "Arriving late one day has no importance."

Dembele is finding game time difficult to come by at Barcelona currently, but the club need a strong pool of players if they are to challenge for titles both domestically and in Europe.

The Frenchman has bags of potential which he's yet to realise Barcelona, and it would make little sense for the club to sell one of their most expensive signings midway through a season.

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