The Frenchman, who has suffered an injury-ridden spell at the Nou Camp since his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund, has barely managed to feature for the Blaugrana. Dembele managed just 35 LaLiga Santander starts since the start of the 2017/18 campaign, highlighting his alarming lack of availability.
With Manchester United rumoured to be in for the 23-year-old, Barcelona must take a call on the Frenchman's future.
Koeman discusses Dembele's future at Barcelona amidst Manchester United interest
Speaking on Ousmane Dembele ahead of Barcelona's LaLiga clash against Celta Vigo, the Dutch manager explained;
"I'm going to count on him [Dembele], he was very good during the first weeks, he had a downturn last week. He trained well today and I'm counting on him. But these are the decisions of the club and the player."
Manchester United have been strongly linked with a move for Dembele ahead of the summer transfer window deadline. The Red Devils' pursuit for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho has proved to be problematic so far, with the Germans refusing to budge on their €120m valuation of the English superstar.
Dembele could prove to be a viable alternative to Sancho should Manchester United fail to sign the Englishman. It is worth noting that several reliable sources have confirmed that the Red Devils will only consider a loan deal for Dembele, and not a permanent one this summer.
If Barcelona manage to offload the 23-year-old, it could pave the way for them to sign their first-choice attacker of the summer — former Manchester United star Memphis Depay.
The Dutch superstar is said to be Koeman's priority target this window and is a far more achievable target than their previous centre-forward target Lautaro Martinez. The Argentine had a €110 release clause, which Barcelona are not in a position to activate.
Barcelona have also effectively completed the signing of Sergino Dest of Ajax after the right-back landed in Spain to complete his medical. The Dutch-born American wonderkid was at the heart of a drawn-out transfer saga involving Barcelona and Bayern Munich with both European giants chasing the 19-year-old.
With less than a week remaining in the transfer market, it remains to be seen where the likes of Memphis Depay, Ousmane Dembele, and Jadon Sancho end up by October 5th.
Published 30 Sep 2020, 19:17 IST