Sky Sports pundit updates on Ousmane Dembele’s situation

Sky Sport football expert Guillem Balague believes Barcelona could consider the departure of Ousmane Dembele on a temporary basis for the 2018/19 season. The French footballer has witnessed a stop-start season with Barcelona – which has been hampered by injuries – but he has still managed to make France’s squad for the summer World Cup.

Recent reports have suggested that Dembele could find himself out-of-favour at Camp Nou next term with the Blaugrana keen on acquiring the signature of Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann. As such, Balague feels Dembele could leave the Catalan giants, though it may only be on a temporary basis, he said: “My understanding of the situation is they will let him go on loan. Right now, who is going to pay 100m euros for him anyway? As I said, they will let him go on loan though.”

Dembele was signed from Borussia Dortmund last summer with a view to replacing Neymar in the club’s ranks. However, he happened to sustain a hamstring problem within weeks of his arrival and this restricted his participation until the turn of the year. Since then, he has been in-and-out of the starting lineup owing to Philippe Coutinho’s winter arrival and another signing could drop him further down the pecking order.

According to reports, Liverpool are presently deemed favourites to acquire the signature of Dembele on loan but the Reds may not be keen on bowing to the Blaugrana’s transfer demands. The Catalan outfit are obviously said to have an interest in pursuing Mohamed Salah’s signature in any exchange deal in the future but both the attacker and the Reds are understood to have no interest in the negotiation.

Salah has enjoyed a wonderful debut campaign with the Anfield outfit and he most-recently bagged the Premier League Golden Boot after netting 32 goals through the campaign. Salah’s performances have also witnessed him earn the PFA and FWA Footballer of the Year gongs.