Borussia Dortmund have acted early to beat a host of top European clubs to the signing of Rennes striker Ousmane Dembele, 18. The French youth international is one of Europe's most highly-rated prospects.
Borussia Dortmund have moved early to secure the signature of teenage French striker Ousmane Dembele, 18, from Rennes, beating a host of top European clubs in the process.
The German club, who sold captain Mats Hummels on Tuesday, have already invested some of the cash in Dembele, who is one Europe's top-rated young talents.
Dembele has signed a five-year contract with the German Cup finalists. Although the fee is undisclosed, reports suggest it could be about 15 million euros. Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc said Dembele was a special talent.
"Ousmane can play nearly every position in attack," he said. "He is strong one-on-one, he can play with both feet, he is good at nutmegging and dribbling, and he is fast and dangerous in front of goal."
The youngster has scored 12 goals in 25 games for Rennes in his breakthrough season after rising through the club's youth ranks and has represented his country at various youth levels.
He said picking Dortmund was an easy choice:
"BVB showed a lot of interest in me right from an early stage and they have always kept close contact with me – this really impressed me," Dembele said.
"I am totally convinced of the Borussia sporting concept. I can hardly wait to play in the Bundesliga in front of more than 80 000 spectators in the Signal Iduna Park and to walk onto the pitch in the Champions League with my new team mates."
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said the fact that Dembele's head wasn't turned by other European giants was a good sign.
"I have nothing but respect when I see how many high profile offers from all over Europe Ousmane has turned back and how he has stood firm about his commitmemt to BVB over such a long period of time," he said.
"It is not always obvious that someone will act this way and it shows real character. He has always given us the impression that he does not wish for anything else other than to play our intensive football for our special club in our unique stadium."
The move follows Bayern Munich's signing of both Hummels and Dembele's fellow Renato Sanches, and the club said in a statement that they'd been watching Dembele "intensively for several years" before signing him.