Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is reportedly ready to break the club’s transfer record for an FC Barcelona star in January.
The German manager is believed to be keen to boost his chances in the Premier League title race, with The Sun reporting that he wants to lure Ousmane Dembele to Anfield.
The young Frenchman, who was part of his country’s 2018 FIFA World Cup-winning side, joined Barcelona at the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign.
Liverpool are reportedly ready to spend £85m to sign Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele in January. (Express) pic.twitter.com/6FxykQTz2w
— Transfer News (@TransfersLlVE) November 14, 2018
However, since then, he has often been in the headlines for his actions off the pitch rather than on it, and reports suggest that Barca could be getting tired of his antics.
Blaugrana coach Ernesto Valverde excluded Dembele from his matchday squad to face Real Betis last Sunday due to disciplinary issues, while France boss Didier Deschamps also spoke about the player’s habit of turning up late for training or team meetings.
Klopp, meanwhile, wants to rival Manchester City for the Premier League title, and it is believed he is keen to improve his squad with a wide forward.
It has been claimed that Liverpool could splash a club-record £85 million (R1.6 billion) on the 21-year-old, who joined Barcelona for £135.5 million (R2.48 billion) at the beginning of last season.
Overall, Dembele has scored 10 goals and assisted another 10 strikes in 38 appearances for the Catalan club, and it remains to be seen whether or not the Blaugrana would be keen to sell him in January.
And his relationship with coach Ernesto Valverde appeared to take a turn for the worse in the aftermath of two missed a training session in the build-up to Barca’s weekend defeat to Real Betis.
Dembele failed to notify Barcelona as he was laid low with a bout of gastroenteritis on Thursday and it took an hour and a half for the club to locate the French forward after he failed to show up for training.
It was the latest in a series of incidents that have blighted the winger’s time since his arrival in a deal which could rise to €145m in total.
Ousmane Dembele ‘mess’ at Barcelona opens the door for Malcom
Team-mate Gerard Pique joked in the summer that the Frenchman is “always late” for training, while there have also been some concerns over the player’s lifestyle and diet, and the 21-year-old upset coach Valverde last month when he took too long to remove his tracksuit and lace his boots as he was called upon to replace the injured Lionel Messi in the league game against Sevilla at Camp Nou.
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