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Arsenal and Liverpool deal major blow in pursuit of Dembele

Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele

Bengaluru, December 9: Arsenal and Liverpool have been dealt a major transfer blow after Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo revealed that his teammate Ousmane Dembele is "totally committed" to the La Liga giants.

Both the Gunners and Liverpool had been hoping to lure the former Borussia Dortmund star, 21, to England in January. However, Barcelona defender Semedo has claimed Dembele will be going nowhere despite being somewhat out of favour at the La Liga side.

Semedo told ESPN: "He is an excellent player, with a lot of potential and will help us a lot. He is totally committed to the team. Now he is more responsible and is showing it in the field. It must continue like this, and I am convinced that it will."

Dembele joined Barcelona in 2017 for a whopping £138million as a replacement for Neymar who joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record £198m.

However, the Frenchman has been unable to replicate his Bundesliga form in Spain and has been tipped to leave Barcelona for a while now.

Dembele had also struggled with thigh and hamstring injuries scoring just four times last season. However, the winger has scored seven times already this term as he looks to make his mark on the Spanish giants.

The Frenchman's form has attracted the attention of the likes of Arsenal as well as Liverpool, with Gunners transfer guru Sven Mislintat calling him a "special player".

Mislintat, currently employed by Arsenal, was the one who brought Dembele to Borussia Dortmund from Rennes and is again working on bringing him to Arsenal.

Mislintat claimed: "When I saw Ousmane Dembele in an Under-18s game he hadn’t played for Stade Rennes' first team. My feeling told me, he’s a special player. Ousmane decided games with his actions. His ability to divise strategies on the pitch and use every inch of space was pure gold for us (at Dortmund)."

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    Story first published: Sunday, December 9, 2018, 14:32 [IST]
    Other articles published on Dec 9, 2018
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