Reports: Barcelona want Bundesliga star as Neymar replacement
What's the story?
FC Barcelona, it seems, are waking up to the possibility of life without Neymar and they seem to be wasting no time preparing for the inevitable. The Brazilian sensation is at the vortex of a potential transfer epic - a deal that will see him shatter Paul Pogba's world record price tag of £89.3m by leaps and bounds.
Ernesto Valverde's list of potential replacements is smattered with marquee names and is reportedly being topped by Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund, who could very well cost around £70 million.
In case you didn't know...
Neymar is undeniably one of Barcelona's finest players ever and his departure is destined to sadden the Catalan fans. The flamboyant 25-year-old is touted to be the 3rd best player in the world and is set to fetch Barcelona a whopping £196 million in a deal that will see him move to French side, Paris Saint-Germain.
The well-publicized transfer saga has seemingly transcended into a media circus according to the Barcelona authorities who are fed up with all the talk.
Valverde has chosen to circumvent the corresponding drama and is already on a quest to find the most suitable replacement.
The heart of the matter
Several of world football's biggest names are being linked with a move to the Blaugrana, with Eden Hazard, Paulo Dybala and Antoine Griezmann subject to rumoured links. However, Dortmund striker Dembele is said to be the number one contender.
The 20-year-old Frenchman teamed up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season to sink many Bundesliga foes, scoring 10 goals and assisting many more in 49 appearances for the 3rd-placed German side.
Dembele's £70 million price tag makes him a far cheaper option than the other options. Further, aged just 20, he will enjoy at least four phenomenal years alongside arguably the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, who is contracted until 2021.
The Argentinian veteran will provide the youngster with intangible experience, which could drastically improve Dembele's game and elevate him to the next level. While Dybala may forge a better link with Messi, the Juventus striker is far too expensive.
Dembele will bring pace on the flank, bewildering trickery and quality finishing - which is precisely what Neymar possesses as well. While it seems like the precocious Frenchman is committed to staying at Dortmund, not many footballers can truly say no to Barcelona.
Guaranteed to start for the Catalans, the 20-year-old could reach new heights with the Camp Nou outfit and end the 'MSN' era with the foundation of a new 'MSD' one.