After Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke indicated earlier this week that they would reject an opening bid worth around €100m (£90.2m), a Barça delegation travelled to Germany on Tuesday to continue negotiations. However, the German side – who purchased the France forward last summer for just €15m and has four years remaining on his current contract – remain adamant that they do not want to sell the 20-year-old who scored six goals in his debut season in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund’s concern is that they would be unable to find a suitable replacement of Dembélé’s age and potential before the end of the transfer window, with the pricetag of €150m designed to force Barcelona to look elsewhere. They are faced with a similar predicament in their attempts to purchase Philippe Coutinho, with Liverpool adamant that the Brazilian will not be leaving Anfield this summer.
Dembélé is understood to be keen on moving to Spain but is realistic that he may have to stay at Dortmund another season. His former club Rennes are also believed to have a sell-on clause which would mean they are due up to €30m of any transfer fee received.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010