Barcelona's Ousmane Dembélé Turned Down Liverpool Loan Move This Summer

Sep 29, 2020, 7:45 PM GMT+1
Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembélé has struggled to rediscover his best form at Barcelona but turned down the chance to join Liverpool in the current window | TF-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé reportedly rejected the option of moving to Premier League champions Liverpool on loan earlier in the current transfer window.

Dembélé joined Barcelona in the summer of 2017 from Borussia Dortmund for a fee in excess of £120m. However, the 23-year-old wide man has been blighted by injuries since arriving in Spain, starting just five matches across all competitions last season.

Ousmane Dembele
Dembélé has missed 80 games due to injury across his last three seasons at Barcelona | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Yet, in Ronald Koeman's first competitive fixture as Barcelona manager on Sunday, the Dutchman gave Dembélé 20 minutes of playing time as the Catalan giants swept Villarreal aside with a 4-0 win.

Despite his struggles for form and fitness, Dembélé turned down the opportunity to leave Barcelona this summer and has instead refocussed his efforts on succeeding in La Liga, according to Spanish publication Sport.

Last season's runaway Premier League winners Liverpool were thought to have pursued a loan deal, with an option to buy, for Dembélé as reported by the journalist Fabrizio Romano. Though, Barcelona's number 11 opted to stay in Catalonia after the offer was made last June.

Fellow English side Manchester United have also been linked with a move for the World Cup winner and interest is said to have resurfaced over a possible loan deal, in case a deal Jadon Sancho can't be concluded.

Jurgen Klopp
Jürgen Klopp was thought to be very confident that Liverpool would complete the loan signing of Dembélé | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

After adding left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas early in the window, Liverpool waited until mid-September before first confirming the arrival of Thiago Alcântara from Bayern Munich and then securing the services of Diogo Jota from Wolves.

Jota scored on his debut for the club after replacing Sadio Mané against Arsenal on Monday night and could very well have been Liverpool's back-up option after the move for Dembélé fell through.

The fleet-footed Frenchman may have pledged his immediate future to Barcelona but Dembélé was 15 minutes late for training after Sunday's match against Villarreal. While this is far from the first example of poor punctuality on Dembélé's behalf, the incident was deemed a 'minor oversight'.