Barcelona target Dembele's Dortmund suspension to remain in place indefinitely
Barcelona target Ousmane Dembele has had his Borussia Dortmund suspension extended indefinitely, the club have confirmed.
Dembele has been sounded out by LaLiga giants Barca as a replacement for Neymar, following his astounding €222million world-record switch to Paris Saint-Germain.
Speculation mounted that the France forward was Camp Nou bound after he missed training without permission on Thursday.
Dortmund confirmed a bid for the 20-year-old from Barca had been rejected and that a transfer did not seem likely, before announcing the forward would be suspended for their DFB-Pokal clash against Rielasingen-Arlen on Saturday.
Peter Bosz's men won that game 4-0 but will not welcome Dembele back into the fold for their Bundesliga opener against Wolfsburg next weekend.
"Borussia Dortmund has decided to continue the suspension of the player Ousmane Dembele from first-team training until further notice," a club statement read.
Sporting director Michael Zorc added: "Our focus is now concentrated on the preparation of the for the opening Bundesliga match against Wolfsburg next weekend.
"Ousmane Dembele, of course, has the opportunity to train individually."
Dembele scored 10 goals and supplied 20 assists in 49 games in his debut season with Dortmund.
Earlier this week, chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said a fee of €100m for the player was "in every case, not enough" and the Bundesliga club's asking price is reported to lie closer to €135m.
Speaking about Dembele after Saturday's victory, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was also been linked with a move away from Signal Iduna Park during the off-season, expressed that his team-mate is in a tough spot.
"We will see what happens," he told Sky. "Whatever happens, happens. It's a difficult situation."