Barcelona could still sign Ousmane Dembele, Dortmund CEO suggests
Ousmane Dembele's transfer to Barcelona could still happen, Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has suggested.
Dortmund said in a statement to the stock market on Thursday that they had turned down a first bid from Barcelona for Dembele, 20, reported to be €100 million. Dortmund are reported to be asking for around €130-150m for the France international.
The Bundesiga club said the Barca offer "did not correspond to the player's extraordinary footballing value and status as well as to the current economic market situation of the European transfer market," and added that "a transfer of the player to FC Barcelona is at present not more than likely."
However, Dortmund are still willing to listen to Barcelona if they significantly increase their offer for Dembele, who is currently suspended for missing training without permission on Thursday and is reportedly set for a fine in excess of €100,000.
"If someone bids €500m, he'll get every player," Watzke told Funke Media. "It's never over before the end of the transfer period."
Barca, who have plenty to spend following the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for €222m, have also been targeting Philippe Coutinho, though Liverpool's owners FSG said on Friday that they would not be considering any offers for the midfielder.
Dortmund, meanwhile, have postponed their friendly at FSV Zwickau on Sunday as they do not feel they can "name a strong team."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.