Barcelona are “furious” with Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti after failing to sell either player in the summer transfer window.
According to Juan Jimenez at AS, Barcelona are “particularly unhappy” with Dembele for failing to co-operate after being told by new manager Ronald Koeman he is seventh choice when it comes to his attack.
Manchester United were keen to sign Dembele, but the Frenchman’s “refusal to leave” meant that Barca could not sign top target Memphis Depay. Barcelona feel they deserve better “after putting up with three years of lateness, ill-discipline and, above all else, serious injuries.”
Barcelona are also unhappy they were unable to offload Umtiti and remove him from the wage bill. The Catalan giants wanted to bring Eric Garcia back from Manchester City to replace Umtiti but could not agree a fee with the Citizens.
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What Now For Dembele?
The 23-year-old has only played 20 minutes so far for Barcelona in 2020-21, coming on as a second-half substitute in the 4-0 win over Villarreal. He was an unused substitute against Celta and Sevilla and looks to have his work cut out convincing Koeman he deserves a place in the team.
Koeman made it clear in his pre-match press conference before Sevilla that 17-year-old Ansu Fati is ahead of Dembele in the pecking order, while he has brought on new signings Francisco Trincao and Pedri instead of the Frenchman in Barca’s last two games.
There will be plenty of focus on Dembele in the coming weeks, and speculation over his future is likely to continue if he remains on the sidelines. According to Xavi Campos at Catalunya Radio, Dembele is already talking to Juventus about a future move.
Umtiti’s Problems Continue
Meanwhile, Umtiti has also slipped down the pecking order at Barcelona due to continued injury problems. The World Cup winner used to be the undisputed first choice in central defence alongside Gerard Pique but is now behind Clement Lenglet and Ronald Araujo.
Barcelona confirmed on Tuesday that 21-year-old Araujo is now part of the first-team squad and will wear the No. 4 shirt in 2020-21. The Uruguay international came in for the suspended Lenglet in the draw with Sevilla and put in an impressive showing.
Barca are also likely to move for Garcia again next year. The 19-year-old is into the final year of his contract at Manchester City which means he’ll be a free agent at the end of the season.