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09th Dec 2018

Ousmane Dembélé fuels exit rumours with another late arrival to training

Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has fuelled rumours of an exit by turning up late for training yet again, with Arsenal and Liverpool linked

Reuben Pinder

He doesn’t help himself

Ousmane Dembélé has poured fuel on the fire surrounding his future at Barcelona by turning up two hours late to training, according to reports in Spain.

The France international has struggled to nail down a place in the Barcelona first team since his arrival at the Nou Camp in the summer of 2017, mainly due to his behaviour off the pitch.

When given the chance to play this season, he has made a positive impact on the pitch, scoring several decisive goals for the Spanish champions, but has let himself down with lateness to team meetings and training sessions.

Recently, it emerged that Dembélé had overslept after playing video games late into the night and therefore arrived late at the training ground, to the disappointment of coach Ernesto Valverde.

That episode led to him being left out of Barça’s squad for their game with Real Betis and a public telling off from France coach Didier Deschamps, who said: “I know about his excuses when he turns up late”.

He now looks certain to leave, next summer at the latest, with Arsenal and Liverpool both reportedly interested in signing the forward.

He cost Barcelona a whopping €105m just after they had sold Neymar to Paris Saint Germain for a world record €220m. Barça would hope to recoup most of that fee from any sale but may have to take a small hit given his inconsistent form in LaLiga.

Dembélé remains a supreme talent, and given the right environment he should be able to rediscover the form he hit at Borussia Dortmund and Rennes before that.