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Dembele ‘going nowhere’ insists Barcelona chief amidst Arsenal interest

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has insisted Ousmane Dembele will not leave the club this summer, all but ending Arsenal’s hopes of signing the Frenchman.

Dembele joined Barca last summer in a £110 million move from Borussia Dortmund, however has endured a difficult first season at the Camp Nou.

The France international – who will travel to Russia this summer as part of Didier Deschamp’s 23-man squad for the World Cup – was injured as his debut for the Catalans, ruling him out till late December.

Upon his return Dembele scored only four times in 20 appearances for Ernesto Valverde’s side, leading to speculation he could be allowed to leave the club as soon as this summer.

Arsenal were one a number of top clubs thought to be interested in landing the 21-year-old, and as the latest Vegas odds and best sportsbooks showed, the odds were dropped for him to leave.

However Barcelona chief Josep Bartomeu insists Dembele will be going nowhere this summer.

“[Philippe] Coutinho, [Ousmane] Dembele are for us a big investment,” Bartomeu told AP. “They are very important players and we expect a lot from them.

“But Dembele is a very young player, a very talented player that we are, of course, expecting a lot from.

“He’s been demonstrating during the season that he’s a good young player for us. But, of course, next season will be different.

“It’s not easy to play in Barcelona the first year because the model of football is quite different from the rest. But after one year I’m sure we are going to see Dembele and Coutinho at a very high level.”

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