Courbis: Dembele affected by transfer talk

Rennes coach Rolland Courbis feels that their young midfield prodigy's drop in form may be due to the amount of attention he has been getting in the press.

Ousmane Dembele has been a revelation since making his Ligue 1 debut for Rennes earlier this season, scoring 12 goals and providing 5 assists in his 22 first-team appearances. 

The 18-year-old has, understandably, caught the attention of the larger European clubs, with his name being linked to Bundesliga title contenders Bayern Munich and Borrusia Dortmund. In fact, German newspaper Bild went as far as proclaiming that the latter had already secured the youngster's signature, something his agent has since denied.

Speaking about Rennes' two consecutive league losses, coach Rolland Courbis stated that the amount of speculation on Demebele's future is having a negative effect on the player. 

"Dembele is affected by all the rumours because he is still only 18, an age where things like this can affect you," the Rennes boss said at a news conference.

"There are a lot of things happening for him and it is difficult to cope with it all. He has been getting a lot of praise, was voted best player of March, there are transfer rumours and he got a call-up for France Under-21s.

"There are a lot of things happening at the same time and maybe it is all a bit too much.

"Unfortunately, this has played a role in our last two results," Courbis said, referring to the two 3-0 losses his team suffered at the hands of Nice and Guingamp.

These two results have seen the club drop to seventh position in the league, severly damaging their prospects for European football next season.