It sounded outlandish at first, but now it’s actually happening. Neymar is moving from Barcelona to PSG for a world record fee, reported to be around €222 million. Just a few months ago he was helping Barca knock the Parisian club out of the Champions League with Lionel Messi and company, now he’s joining those same opponents.
A controversial mega-deal like this will surely send reverberations around the footballing world, but Dortmund themselves may be particularly impacted.
Thanks to the Qatari government’s funding of this transfer, Barcelona will now be coming into quite a bit of money. Obviously they will need a replacement for their departing superstar. One of the names being suggested as a possible replacement is BVB’s own Ousmane Dembele.
Signing Dembele would allow Barcelona to replace Neymar with another young, dynamic winger. His pace and dribbling skill aren’t that far off Neymar’s, and he’d likely be a great fit at the Camp Nou.
Ousmane Dembélé completed 30 take-ons in the Champions League last season; Neymar (51) was the only player with more.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 2, 2017
Can't catch 'em. pic.twitter.com/xGD1olyIDv
If Barcelona were smart, they’d pay what Dortmund want for Ous. But they may not be smart! Barca’s transfer targeting has been questionable this summer; they’ve seriously flirted with the idea of signing Paulinho.
This coming season would only be Dembele’s second at Dortmund, but his performances at the club and international levels mean he is already drawing interest from the biggest teams in Europe. The public line from the club has been that he will not be sold this summer, but every realistic Dortmund fan knows he will leave for bigger pastures one day.
How do you think Watzke will react if Barcelona make a massive bid and the player expresses his desire to join them?
Let’s hope Barcelona continue to be dumb this summer. Maybe they’ll choose to pay an astronomical fee for Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe, or maybe they’ll settle and buy a player like Coutinho from Liverpool.
But for now the higher-ups at Dortmund need to be seriously prepared for a possible bid for Dembele. They need to have a replacement plan ready, or be confident enough that they can reject bids while still keeping Dembele happy and in the fold of the squad.
There’s just under a month to go until the transfer window slams shut. Will the ripple effect of this mega deal carry Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona?