Borussia Dortmund have rejected an offer from Barcelona for Ousmane Dembele, shortly after they revealed he did not show up for first-team training.
Earlier on Thursday, Dortmund boss Peter Bosz admitted he had no idea where the France international was after he failed to turn up for training. Dembele also did not answer his phone when the club tried to contact him.
“Dembele wasn’t at training today. I have no idea why he wasn’t there. We tried to reach him but couldn’t,” Bosz said.
“First I have to talk to Dembele, then he has to explain to me why he wasn’t here today. I hope nothing serious happened.”
It’s no secret that Dembele – along with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho – is a target for Barcelona, who are looking for a replacement for Neymar following his move to Paris Saint-Germain.
At first, Dortmund were adamant the player is not for sale, although Sky Sports in Germany later reported that he would be allowed to leave for £135m.
But Barcelona’s current offer appears to be short of that target, as Dortmund revealed later on Thursday they had rejected an offer from Barca for an unspecified amount.
“Borussia Dortmund has held talks with the Catalan football club FC Barcelona regarding the possible transfer of the BVB player Ousmane Dembele to FC Barcelona,” the club said in a statement.
“During this meeting, the representatives of FC Barcelona submitted a bid which did not match the player’s extraordinary footballing ability or value to the club, nor the present economic market situation of the European transfer market. BVB therefore rejected this offer.
“As there is no other offer from FC Barcelona to date, there is currently no transfer of the player to FC Barcelona and this is not currently likely.”
The club also later confirmed they had suspended Dembele for missing training.
“Ousmane Dembele today missed the BVB-training-session without any excuse,” a statement read. “The player seems to have done that intentionally. Because of that behaviour we will sanction him.
“The player is still in Dortmund. In consultation with our coach we have suspended him from all practice and match-activities until next week after our cup game.”