The dominoes of the transfer market are starting to fall now that Neymar has completed his shocking move from Barcelona to PSG. The Catalan giants need a replacement, and probably a few other players as well to improve their squad.
The moves they make will influence dozens of other big-name players and clubs across Europe.
According to this report from Mundo Deportivo, Barca’s executives are taking a trip to Germany in an attempt to sign Ousmane Dembele. The story is in Spanish, but here’s a translation:
A delegation from FC Barcelona, with Director General Òscar Grau leading the way, left Barcelona on Tuesday to try to close the signings of Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian of Liverpool is the first of the objectives of the club azulgrana in the days of 'market' that are coming. The Frenchman of Dortmund is also a priority to replace Neymar.
Also in the expedition is the Director of Football, Raül Sanllehí, and board member Javier Bordas. The Barca expedition has traveled first to Germany and then they will try to finish the one of Coutinho. In England the player and his agent, who have been working for weeks on the move, are waiting.
The idea of the azulgrana club is to face today the operation of Dembéle and if it can, to close today, also the one of Coutinho.
Mundo Deportivo can be hit-or-miss, but they do have reliable journalists with legit sources in Spanish clubs. Fernando Polo, who is reporting this, is one of those credible journalists. It’s safe to assume that this trip is happening, but that doesn’t mean the two sides are anywhere close to a deal.
Barcelona may be interested in Dembele, but Watzke’s asking price will hopefully abate their intent to sign him. Dortmund, as they should, reportedly want more than €100 million for the 20-year-old.
Coutinho seems like a much more likely signing for Barca. He is reportedly willing to put up a stink and refuse to train in order to force a move.
As long as Dembele doesn’t follow Coutinho’s lead and refuse to play for BVB, then the smart bet is that he stays at Dortmund.
But who knows, maybe Barcelona feel like spending an absurd amount of money.