Barcelona have reportedly issued Ousmane Dembele with a fine in excess of €100,000 (£90,000) after he was late for training on Sunday.
According to Moises Llorens of AS, the Catalan club's sanction "could even be double or triple that figure" although that will not be confirmed in public.
It's noted that Dembele was two hours late for the session a day after he turned in an excellent performance to help Barcelona beat rivals Espanyol 4-0. According to Llorens, the France international is unlikely to have his playing time reduced as a result of his tardiness.
"Dembele's team-mates at least have seen the funny side. The player arrived an hour early for yesterday's session and spent the workout bearing the brunt of an endless stream of good-natured jokes and comments. Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba couldn't resist cracking a few remarks to defuse the situation which Dembele took with good humour."
Llorens added that the decision to fine Dembele has started a precedent whereby anyone who is late for training will be hit with a similar sanction.
When asked about Dembele's lateness ahead of the clash against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League Valverde didn't seem too fussed, per Spanish football journalist Samuel Marsden:
In addition, Valverde said there were times when he was in similar situations as a player. "It happened to me!," he said, per Jamie Smith of Goal.
The topic of punctuality has never been far away when it comes to Dembele. Earlier in the season his national team manager Didier Deschamps commented on his timekeeping and said the former Borussia Dortmund man has a "habit" of failing to turn up on time.
It'll be disappointing for Barcelona to read about this latest setback, as on the field there have been signs of a footballer maturing when it comes to Dembele.
At last he is being handed regular opportunities and is rewarding Valverde's renewed faith in him with productive displays:
This was his goal in the win over their city rivals in La Liga:
While Barca appear keen to dissuade Dembele from being late again with a big fine, given the recent progress he's made on the field it makes sense to avoid issuing him any sanctions that would see his playing time reduced.
After some difficult spells following his transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, he's now playing the best football of his short Blaugrana career. He clearly still has work to do in terms of his application away from games, but to sap the momentum he has been enjoyed lately would not have been a wise move.