Barcelona beat Real Madrid in race to sign £72m France attacker

Date published: Thursday 10th August 2017 2:41

Barcelona are set to announce the signing of Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele later on Thursday, according to reports in the French media.

The France star is wanted by both Real Madrid and Barcelona, but it is the latter who appear to have the race for his signature after a delegation from the Catalan club flew to Germany to negotiate the deal.

Reports had suggested Dortmund were seeking €100m (£90million) for the player, but L’Equipe claim a fee of €80m (£72m) has been struck between the clubs.

The transfer will still represent a significant profit on the €16million Dortmund paid Rennes for the forward just last summer.

L’Equipe claim Dembele has been excused from Dortmund training on Thursday, with the transfer now agreed following two days of negotiations.

Real Madrid had also emerged as suitors of the winger, but L’Equipe journalist Bilel Ghazi claims a deal between Barca and Dortmud has been struck and that the 20-year-old will sign for the Nou Camp side today.

“Ousmane Dembele is expected to sign in the next few hours to Barcelona! Agreement for his transfer to finalisation,” Ghazi tweeted.

Barcelona have the funds to sign Dembele after selling Neymar to PSG in a £200m deal – but any deal for Dembele is unlikely to spell the end of their chase for Philippe Coutinho, despite Liverpool on Wednesday rejecting Barcelona’s latest £90million bid.

Discussing the player in a press conference today, Dortmund manager Peter Bosz made light of the player’s absence: “Dembele didn’t show up for training today.

“We don’t know where he is.

“We couldn’t reach him today.”

Word that Dembele was set to leave Dortmund gathered pace on Tuesday night when a teammate wished him good luck on social media.

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