Ousmane Dembele's Agent Says Player 'Does Not Care' About Neymar, Barca Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2019

BILBAO, SPAIN - AUGUST 16: Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander  match between Athletic de Bilbao v FC Barcelona at the Estadio San Mames on August 16, 2019 in Bilbao Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The agent of Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele has said the winger "does not care" about speculation linking Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar with a return to the Camp Nou. 

Neymar left the Blaugrana in the summer of 2017, joining the Ligue 1 giants for a world-record fee. Following the departure, the La Liga outfit signed Dembele from Borussia Dortmund, although there have been rumours this summer the Brazil international could return to the club.

Dembele's agent, Moussa Sissoko, told RMC Sport the young France international isn't worried about being pushed down the pecking order if Neymar were to arrive, as a battle for starting spots is to be expected at such a big club (h/t Goal).

"He doesn't feel at all threatened," he said. "When you play at Barca, you expect to be in competition there. Neymar or another, he does not care about that, he only cares about what he has to do."

Rafael Hernandez of the Grup 14 fan site thinks Dembele's inclusion in any deal to take back Neymar to Barcelona would be a sensible move:

Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117

Neymar loan to Barcelona and Dembélé loaned to PSG would be a smart operation for all involved. Tuchel recovers the player he turned special at BVB and Neymar returns to where he wants to be. Too smart for both clubs, to be honest.

Sissoko also confirmed there has been interest in Dembele, although the player wants to remain where he is:

"We received shows of interest from big clubs. But we were clear on the fact that he did not want to leave.

"I told them from the start that he wants to succeed in Barcelona. The door is closed, and Paris or any other club are aware of our intentions. Will he be at Barca this season? In our plans, he wants to stay and all his work is towards that. We are working on that."

Although Dembele has showcased flashes of talent in the Barcelona jersey, inconsistency and injury problems have prevented him from kicking on.

In Friday's 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao, he picked up another knock that is expected to rule him out for around five weeks.

There have been reports that Barcelona are ready to fine the player after he left Spain the day after the match in Bilbao too, per The Spanish Football Podcast:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

SER say Barça will fine Ousmane Dembélé for skipping medical tests on Saturday to go see his family in France https://t.co/ZZEpw1hL0D

Spanish football journalist Andy West commented on the number of injuries Dembele has had during his time in Spain:

Andy West @andywest01

Messi and Cristiano are the greatest players of their generation partly (obviously not wholly) because they are always available. Both have played at least 40 club games a season every year for the last decade. There's some luck in that of course, but not only luck.

Dembele's injury is a huge blow, as he would have been desperate to make an impression. After all, the Blaugrana have already brought in Antoine Griezmann to add quality up top, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez other world-class options.

When he was brought to Catalonia, Dembele was expected to go some way towards filling the void left by Neymar's sale in the long term. A couple of years on, the France international has yet to embark on the next stage of his development.