Bartomeu dismisses speculation over Ousmane Dembele’s future

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that Ousmane Dembele has the credentials to become a better player than Neymar and the club are prepared to stick with him for the long haul. The France international has struggled to make a huge impression for the Blaugrana since his £93m move from Borussia Dortmund but the Camp Nou giants are nonetheless keeping their faith in the forward.

Speaking to reporters, Bartomeu said that Dembele was recruited from Dortmund by viewing his potential and the Blaugrana are prepared to watch him grow into a world-class performer. When asked further about the futures of Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, Bartomeu added that the duo remains fundamental to the club’s plans for the forthcoming campaign, he said: “Dembele is young, talented, different. I consider him to be better than Neymar, he has a lot to grow, and we want him to do it here. Dembele and Coutinho are a fundamental part of the squad for the coach.”

The Spanish champions have already strengthened the defensive and midfield positions for the summer and they are now expected to bolster the attack. Antoine Griezmann has been widely touted to join the club from Atletico Madrid but of late, there has been the surprise speculation linking Neymar with a return to the Camp Nou.

Obviously, the Catalan giants don’t seem in the position to afford both players at the present point of time and reports have claimed that Griezmann could end up being the choice to strengthen the options in the final third. Dembele has suffered from a string of injuries during his time at the Camp Nou and that has hampered his prospects of earning regular gametime from the starting XI.

Coutinho, on the other hand, has been a more dominant feature under Valverde, but the Brazilian has likewise struggled to make a strong impact on the team. The former Liverpool man was able to score on just five occasions during the course of the previous league campaign.