FC’s Paul Mariner sifts through all the latest rumours surrounding Paul Pogba, Luka Modric, Ousmane Dembele and many more in Rumour Rater.

Barcelona maintain that Ousmane Dembele is not for sale this summer despite reported interest from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, sources have told ESPN FC.

Journalist Kike Marin reported on Thursday that Arsenal had made an offer worth €100 million for the France international, hours before the transfer window closed in England.

Earlier in the day, reports in France had suggested Dembele was also a target for PSG, who have until the end of the month to complete a deal.

However, Barca have said throughout the transfer window that their plan is to keep hold of the forward and insist that nothing has happened to change that stance.

Dembele, 21, became the club’s most expensive player (since replaced by Philippe Coutinho) when he joined from Borussia Dortmund for an initial fee of €105m last summer, following Neymar’s move to Paris.

However, an injury three games into his Barca career, which left him sidelined for four months, hindered his adaption to his new surroundings.

Ernesto Valverde then left him on the bench for some of the club’s biggest games at the end of the season, leading to rumours about his long-term future with La Liga’s champions.

The signing of Malcom, another young forward who primarily plays wide, from Bordeaux in July only served to enhance that speculation.

But Barca, through president Josep Maria Bartomeu and coach Valverde, have always rejected any reports placing Dembele’s future in doubt.

“Let’s hope this will be his season,” Valverde said in a news conference last month. “He’s an extraordinary player. The past year has been complicated because of the injuries, but, even so, he has brought us a lot.

“The important thing is that there is competition within the team. There are a lot of matches and we cannot handle them with only 11 players.”

Dembele, a World Cup winner with France, returned to training with Barca last weekend and is in the running to start Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup final against Sevilla in Morocco.


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