Borussia Dortmund's CEO has spoken out about Barcelona's pursuit of Ousmane Dembele. With just over a week left in the transfer window, the Frenchman's future remains in the balance.
Borussia Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has accused Spanish giants Barcelona of influencing France international Ousmane Dembele to force BVB's hand.
Speaking to German sports broadcaster "Sky" on Sunday, Watzke said the club "found out that our ideas (over the price) are very far apart", with Dortmund seemingly wanting more than Barcelona are currently willing to offer.
"Then completely out of the blue, he [Dembele] didn't come to training," Watzke said. "Do you honestly believe that a 20-year-old, without the blessing of a new club, says 'I'm not coming to training'? Ousmane wouldn't have done this for any other club in the world - we know that now."
Dortmund suspended Dembele indefinitely a week ago when the 20-year-old boycotted training after BVB rejected an initial bid from Barcelona. Christian Pulisic's performance against Wolfsburg suggested BVB might not have to worry about Dembele's absence.
"There are now two possibilities," said Watzke. "Either Barcelona pay the sum we want and, if they meet our demands promptly, the transfer will go ahead. We will not negotiate."
With not long left in the window, a move seems to be hanging in the balance.
"And if they don't pay, then he will be back as of September 1 and I am sure he will really want to play. However, if that happens, he will really have to apologize to the club and the team," Watzke said.
"Ousmane is actually a nice bloke and what he is doing is, of course, not on, but I also did a lot of crap when I was 20 and if all that butter was smeared on bread today, it would make a fat sandwich," Watzke said.
Dembele has already packed up his house in Dortmund and moved back to France, but whether he'll move to Spain or back to Dortmund before the end of the month remains to be seen. Reports suggest BVB want 130 million euros ($152 million) for the player they paid Rennes 15 million euros for last year.