The transfer tug of war between Barcelona and Dortmund for Ousmane Dembele took some dramatic turns on Thursday. He failed to attend training and has been suspended by BVB, who insist there's no agreement with Barcelona.
In his press conference, new Dortmund coach Peter Bosz revealed that the 20-year-old French forward was absent without the club's knowledge.
"He didn't come to practice today. We don't know why. We tried to reach him but we were unable to," Bosz told reporters at a press conference. "Hopefully nothing bad has happened."
Despite earlier reports to the contrary, Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc said the 20-year-old has remained in Dortmund but has been suspended by the club until after Saturday's German Cup tie against Rielasingen.
Dembele enjoyed a strong debut season for the Bundesliga giants after moving from Rennes for about 15 million euros. His displays caught the eye of Barca who are in the market for a replacement for Neymar, whose 222 million euros transfer to Paris St Germain broke the world transfer record.
But, late on Thursday afternoon, Dortmund confirmed in a statement that they rejected a bid for Dembele, thought to be about 100 million euros.
"The representatives of FC Barcelona submitted a bid which did not correspond to the player's extraordinary footballing abilities nor to 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."
mp/jh (AP, dpa)