Ousmane Dembele was at the centre of one of the biggest transfer sagas this summer.
The French forward moved to from Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona. The Catalans paid an initial €105m as a transfer fee, with another €45m due in bonuses, depending on the player’s performances.
But Borussia were reluctant to let one of their best players leave and the 20-year-old had to force his way out of Signal Iduna Park. Dembele refused to show up for trainings when he learned about Dortmund’s refusal to allow him to move to Camp Nou.
In an interview for Sport.es, Dembele said: “I was calm, there were negotiations between Barcelona and Borussia. I knew I had to be patient. I decided not to show up to trainings. I didn’t want to do it and I found an excuse for this. If the negotiations wouldn’t have been successful and I wouldn’t have done everything to move to Barcelona, now I would have regretted that I am not here.”
Dembele had the opportunity to sign with Barcelona even since last year. But at that moment he declined, choosing to move from Rennes to Borussia Dortmund, as he thought that would be the best for his development, given the fact that Barcelona had an attacking trio made of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Speaking about that situation, the French forward said: “I had only played professionally for 6 months at that point. Can you imagine? Six months. Obviously it was too soon. I wanted to learn. To play in Champions League, to know the competition, to have a good season with a good team, to have continuity.
At Barcelona I would have learned very much in training, but my progress would have been slower. Luckily, Barcelona came for me a second time and I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me.”