Ousmane Dembele has had his suspension extended by Borussia Dortmund until further notice as he continues to be unsettled by interest from Barcelona.
The 20-year-old Frenchman skipped training on Thursday and was swiftly suspended by the Bundesliga club for the weekend’s DFB-Pokal first-round encounter with minnows Rielasingen-Arlen.
Dembele is under contract with Dortmund until 2021 and an initial offer from the Spanish giants has been rejected by Dortmund.
And Dortmund have now made the decision not to lift the suspension on Dembele, with Sporting director Michael Zorc telling Dortmund’s website: “Our focus now is on a concentrated preparation of the team for the Bundesliga opening match against Wolfsburg in the coming weekend.
“Ousmane Dembele has the possibility to do individual training off the group.”
Dembele joined Dortmund a little over 12 months ago from Rennes on a five-year contract and has attracted top European suitors after a breakout season at the Westfalenstadion.
He scored 10 times in 49 appearances in all competitions in the last campaign while he broke his duck for France with the winner in the 3-2 friendly triumph over England in June.
Another day in football, another wave of transfer rumours to keep up on. Take a look at the most recent names and gossip being floated around in the media.
Will any of the following deals happen?
Barcelona are preparing to submit a fresh bid in excess of £100 million for Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho, according to the Daily Express
The Catalans have so far failed with bids of £72 million and £90 million for the Brazilian who lodged a transfer request on Friday.
The Reds value their star midfielder at £145 million – and continue to be reluctant to sell.
The saga could continue until the end of the transfer window as Barcelona seek a replacement for Neymar.
Coutinho has been the subject of interest from Barcelona in the past, but it now looks likely he will leave Anfield after submitting a transfer request.
The playmaker only signed a new five-year deal in January which made him the club’s highest earner on £150,000 per week, and with no release clause, the club are in a strong position if they are to negotiate with the Spanish giants.
Liverpool will not want to lose a player of his calibre, but a £140 million fee would be difficult to withstand.
Manchester United are set to launch a third bid for Inter Milan star Ivan Perisic, according to the Mirror.
United have had two bids for the Croatian rejected, but it is believed the Red Devils are close to meeting his £48 million asking price.
Jose Mourinho has made no secrets of his desire to sign a pacy winger, and the versatile 28-year-old looks a perfect fit for United’s hard-working midfield system.
Perisic was impressive in Serie A last season, scoring 11 goals in 38 games.
Perisic is a fans’ favourite at the San Siro and Inter will do all they can to keep last season’s dream team together.
Although Mourinho admitted that only 75 per cent of his transfer targets have been delivered this transfer window, it looks unlikely Ed Woodward will shell out nearly £50 million for a player who will turn 29 in February.
Chelsea are planning a second bid worth £25 million for Leicester City star Danny Drinkwater, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Blues already had a £15 million rejected – but Antonio Conte is planning a more improved offer as they seek to sign three more players before the end of the transfer window.
Conte has been impressed with the 27-year-old’s work rate and wanted to sign him last season but the Foxes wouldn’t sanction a double swoop – with N’Golo Kante already putting pen to paper on a deal at Stamford Bridge.
Leicester will again have no interest in selling Drinkwater, so it’s a matter of how much the player himself wants to leave.
The Englishman only put pen to paper on a new four-year contract last summer so he may be tempted to stay around the comforts of the King Power Stadium.
However, with Nemanja Matic leaving Stamford Bridge, there remains a position to fill, and a move for Drinkwater would put him in a formidable position of challenging for trophies once again.
Paulinho has reportedly joined Barcelona for a fee of €40 million.
The former Tottenham midfielder joins the Catalans from Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande, where he’s been playing since 2015, according to the Daily Mail.
Barcelona has been interested in the Brazilian over the course of the summer. Having initially tabled a bid for £17 million in July, they now appear to have landed their man after upping their offer.
Earlier this summer, Paulinho was sure his move to Barcelona was a done deal and spoke to Mundo Deportivo with that in mind.
“It is a unique opportunity for me to be able to play for Barcelona, the best team in the world and surrounded by the best players.
“I have to talk to my president, since I got the proposal I have not stopped thinking about it and I am waiting for everything to be resolved this week.”
Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho has handed in a transfer request at Liverpool despite the club rejecting a £90 million offer form Barcelona for him.