Hans-Joachim Watzke, the Borussia Dortmund general director, has spoken about Barcelona’s interest in Ousmane Dembélé as a replacement for Neymar.
Dortmund director: 'Dembélé is immature'
“Ousmane is really a good guy, but you can’t do what he has done,” Watzke said in reference to the Frenchman’s unexplained absences from training, which has “caused a distancing from the team”.
“He’s very young, he’s 20 years old and he isn’t mature. But he wouldn’t do this for any other club in the world, Barça are very special for him. He knew that with Neymar, Suárez, and Messi, it would be difficult, even though he wanted to go to that club last year. We told him that we would accept it, but not after only one year.”
Dembélé to Barcelona liklihood 'less than 50%'
As negotiations continue between Barcelona and Dortmund, Watzke made it clear that the Bundesliga club will hold firm.
“There are only two options,” he explained, “Either Barcelona quickly pay the fee that we are asking for, thus completing the transfer, or there is no transfer. We won’t negotiate. If they [Barcelona] don’t pay what we’re asking, he [Dembélé] will be here on the 1st September and I’m sure that he’ll be happy to return to playing with us.”
That statement corroborates the stance of Michael Zorc, Dortmund's sporting director.
Watzke concluded that “I see the probability of the Ousmane Dembélé transfer going through as less than 50%”.