Dortmund pull off Dembele coup

Borussia Dortmund have softened the blow of losing Mats Hummels to FC Bayern M√ľnchen with the capture of highly-rated Ousmane Dembele from Rennes.

Dembele has enjoyed a superb debut season in Ligue 1 with Les Rouges et Noirs, scoring 12 goals in 25 appearances since making his bow in October last year.

That fine form alerted a whole host of European clubs, with Bayern, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all rumoured to be interested in acquiring the services of the 18-year-old forward, who was recently voted Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year.

However, Dortmund have been tracking Dembele for quite some time and they stole a march on their competitors by agreeing a long-term deal with the teenager until 2021.

“Ousmane can play nearly every attacking position. He’s strong in one-on-one situations, he plays with both feet, is skilful, fast and is dangerous in front of the goal,” BVB sporting director Michael Zorc told the club’s official website.

“The way he stood his ground for such a long time in the face of the numerous high-quality offers from all over Europe commands my respect. It’s not a given and shows his character.”

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke added: “Ousmane has always given us the impression that his sole wish is to play our intense football for this special club in our unique stadium.”

Dembele said: “Dortmund were after me early and always kept contact. I can’t wait to play Bundesliga in front of 80,000 at the Westfalenstadion and take to the pitch in the Champions League with my new team-mates.”