Ousmane Dembele determined to prove himself at Barcelona

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Ousmane Dembele is determined to prove himself after a mixed first season at Barcelona.

A thigh muscle rupture curtailed his progress for the first half of the campaign, just weeks after his €147 million move from Borussia Dortmund, and a similar muscle injury ruled him out of action for three weeks in January.

Since returning to full fitness, the 20-year-old has struggled to break into Ernesto Valverde’s starting XI, making 14 starts in his 23 matches this term.

Speaking to Marca, he said: “It has been a difficult season, with many injuries, but with everything that has happened I continue to have confidence and everyone at Barcelona trusts me.”

“I’m not in my best form, but little by little, it’s coming back. I still have to work on my cardio because I get tired very quickly. At Barcelona, I have a better lifestyle. At Dortmund, I didn’t have a great lifestyle and I didn’t get injured, so it’s not that.

“I have never doubted myself and although it is true that there have been complicated moments, I’m going to come back even stronger and I’m going to show my quality in Barcelona.”

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Live Barcelona blog: Ousmane Dembele linked with move away

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All the latest Barcelona news.

Welcome to today’s Barcelona blog. Aditya Devavrat and the rest of the Sport360 team will be with you throughout the day with the latest news, rumours and insights from the Camp Nou.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

7:30pm – Messi back at Barcelona

Lionel Messi has been training in familiar surroundings as Argentina step up their preparations for this summer’s World Cup.

The Barcelona star is at his usual base – Barcelona’s Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training complex – with the rest of his Argentina teammates.

View Messi and company in action in our gallery.

5:30pm – Modric appears to welcome Neymar to Madrid

A behind-the-scenes video from Brazil’s friendly with Croatia on Sunday has been doing the rounds as it added to the speculation that former Barcelona star Neymar is set to join Real Madrid.

Neymar was filmed swapping shirts with Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric, who said, “we’re waiting for you”, prompting a smile from the PSG attacker.

Read more here.

4pm – Barcelona star in Sport 360’s World Cup Adopted Nations XI

Ivan Rakitic could just as easily have been playing for Switzerland at this summer’s World Cup. The Barcelona midfielder was born in Mohlin, but to a Croatian family.

He represented Switzerland at the youth level but his parents’ country gave him his international debut in 2007.

Have a look at our full XI here.

12:30pm – Selling Dembele would be a mistake

There has been mounting speculation that Ousmane Dembele is set to leave after just one season.

The young attacker has been linked with a move to Arsenal, among other clubs, although Barcelona have publicly insisted Dembele is not for sale.

More than likely, the club hierarchy agrees with our take – that selling the 20-year-old would be a huge mistake.

Read our analysis here.

10am – Verratti being linked with Manchester United move

Longtime Barcelona target Marco Verratti is being linked with a move to Manchester United in Tuesday’s papers.

There was strong speculation last summer that the PSG star was on his way to the Camp Nou, with the 25-year-old viewed as a long-term acquisition for Barcelona’s midfield.

Read more here.

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