The French forward looks set to compete for the starting spot as he begins his second season with Barcelona.
Ousmane Dembele was signed by Barcelona in the summer of 2018. The France international was purchased for a hefty fee of £136 million from Borussia Dortmund. The main reason for bringing in the 21 year old was to replace the outgoing Neymar.
However, injuries forced Dembele to lose his form and hence, fell down the pecking order. Phillipe Coutinho was signed in January and Dembele has supposedly fallen even below Malcom.
Due to his failure of living up to the hype, Ousmane Dembele had been linked with a move to Arsenal. The Gunners are looking to strengthen their flanks and have identified Dembele as a target. Unai Emery was keen to reunite the World Cup winner with several of his Borussia Dortmund teammates at the Emirates Stadium.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 4, 2018
According to reports by the Daily Star, Ousmane Dembele has cut short his vacations following the World Cup. He will now return to Catalonia on Monday and report for training earlier than expected.
Dembele will reportedly have a meeting with Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu as well. The president is set to assure the right winger that the club still consider him as an integral part of their upcoming projects and he will have a much significant role in this season’s affairs. The Arsenal target is also keen to prove his worth this season.
Despite the rumours, Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes the Gunners are unlikely to pursue their interest.
“I don’t know, maybe it’s good for the fans,” he exclusively told Starsport.
“I don’t see it happening. It seems like it’s an absolute fortune for the player. It doesn’t look likely.
“But maybe the Arsenal fans are hoping for that sort of marquee signing. I think that work was done last year with Aubameyang.”
New boss Unai Emery would prefer to bolster his defence and has been linked with a £30m approach for AC Milan’s Ricardo Rodriguez.
Arsenal kick off their Premier League campaign with the visit of defending champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium. Emery will be hoping to get the better of Pep Guardiola on his competitive debut with the Gunners.