Dembele's Barca deal 'on its way' - Dortmund CEO
Ousmane Dembele's transfer to Barcelona is "on its way", but the deal is not yet done.
That was the declaration of Borussia Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke as the Bundesliga club prepared to offload one of its prized assets for a deal reported to be worth up to €150million.
"The possible transfer from Ousmane Dembele is on its way, but the path is not yet over," said Watzke.
With the 20-year-old forward's future having been the subject of prolonged conjecture, Watzke cited the need for the timing of the transfer window to be reconsidered.
"I think that we have to find a solution that completes the transfers before matchday one," he added.
"If there is a transfer for Dembele, that weakens us. We may be doing something else in the transfer market, but a player like Ousmane cannot be easily replaced."
Dortmund suspended Dembele – who will be expected to help fill the void left by Neymar's Camp Nou departure – after he skipped training this month amid the speculation over his switch to LaLiga.
The France international moved to the club from Rennes for €15m last year and quickly impressed, scoring 10 goals in 49 appearances across all competitions and laying on 20 assists.
He was named in the Bundesliga team of the season and landed the man-of-the-match award after opening the scoring in Dortmund's 2-1 DFB-Pokal final triumph over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Didier Deschamps left Dembele out of his France squad for the World Cup qualifying matches against Netherlands and Luxembourg, saying he "cannot take an inactive player".