Football: Barcelona agree deal to sign Ousmane Dembele from Dortmund

Ousmane Dembele siting for the Dortmund team photo, Aug 9, 2017.
Ousmane Dembele siting for the Dortmund team photo, Aug 9, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA (REUTERS) - Barcelona have completed the signing of attacking midfielder Ousmane Dembele from Germany’s Borussia Dortmund on a five-year-deal for a club record €105 million (S$168 million) plus add-ons, the Spanish side said on Friday (Aug 25).

France international Dembele scored 10 goals and provided 20 assists in all competitions to help Dortmund finish third in the Bundesliga last season. The team also won the German Cup.

A statement from Barca said Dembele would arrive in Barcelona on Sunday and have his medical on Monday before signing the contract, which will contain a release clause of  400 million.

He will also be officially unveiled on Monday at the club’s Nou Camp stadium.

“Without doubt he is (a) hugely talented player, one of the best on the continent,” the statement on Barca’s website added (www.fcbarcelona.com).

Shortly after Barcelona’s announcement, a statement from the Bundesliga side confirmed the sale: “FC Barcelona will pay Borussia Dortmund a fixed transfer compensation of  105 million. Above that there was an agreement of a variable transfer compensation up to a maximum of around 40 per cent of the fixed transfer compensation.”

Barcelona are also targeting Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho as they look to fill the void left by the departure of star forward Neymar, who joined Paris St Germain for a world record fee of  222 million.

After Neymar, Dembele becomes the second most expensive transfer of all-time as the deal’s add-ons will take him past the  105 million Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last year.

He also becomes the priciest player in La Liga, his fee outstripping the  100 million Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale in 2013.

Barca’s need to sign a top class player to replace the Brazilian was underlined by their heavy 5-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup earlier in the month, although the Catalans beat Real Betis 2-0 in their opening game of the Liga campaign.

They visit Alaves on Saturday, while Dembele is likely to make his debut after the international break on Sept 9 when Barca host city rivals Espanyol.