Barcelona’s gloomy summer finally came to an end as the Catalan giants completed the transfer of Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele for a massive fee of €105 million.
“FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund have reached an agreement for the transfer of Ousmane Dembélé for €105 million plus add-ons. The player will sign a five-year contract and his buyout clause is set at €400 million,” a club statement read.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 25, 2017
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde was visibly thrilled at the club’s new acquisition.
“Will give us plenty to be happy about” before adding that he is a player who brings “excitement and expectation,” the 20-year-old said.
— Lucas Digne (@LucasDigne) August 25, 2017
The highly rated Frenchman, who spent just one season at Signal Iduna Park, is now the world’s second most expensive player, behind only the player he has been signed to replace.
Dembele, who had been suspended by Dortmund for attempting to force a move to the Nou Camp, is seen as a like-for-like replacement for the newly departed Neymar.
— Samuel Umtiti (@samumtiti) August 25, 2017
The Brazilian had earlier left Barcelona for Paris-Saint-German for a world record fee of €222 million and while La Blaugrana’s coffers had swelled considerably with the sale, there were doubts regarding their ability to close their targets with the transfer deadline looming.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) and Dembele had emerged as the chief contenders to replace Neymar but their respective clubs had proved tough to crack in negotiations and Barcelona reportedly had several bids rejected for Dembele before the two sides came to an agreement.
The Catalan giants are said to be keen on adding Coutinho as well. But after Liverpool’s owners, the Fenway Sports Group, issued a statement earlier in the week stating that the midfielder is not for sale it remains to be seen if Barcelona can nab their man before the August 31 deadline.