President of FC Barcelona Josep Bartomeu has claimed Ousmane Dembele will remain with the Catalan giants next season and defended the forward after a difficult first campaign at the Camp Nou.
Speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was observing a research project on sports analysis (via Sport.es), Bartomeu replied to questions surrounding the Frenchman's future at the club by defending his recent purchases.
He admitted that Dembele, who has been continuously linked with Arsenal and Liverpool over the last few weeks, was very much a part of the club's plans, saying: "Démbéle is not going anywhere, both he and Coutinho are a great investment for us."
Dembele joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017 for a fee of €105m, but injuries prevented the 21-year-old from realising his full potential in the 2017/18 campaign. A number of top sides have been watching Dembele's struggles at Barca from afar, with both English clubs believed to be monitoring developments.
However, Bartomeu's comments at MIT seemed to confirm that Dembele will remain at the club for another year.
Bartomeu added: "Coutinho probably in the last four months has been very active for the team, but Dembéle is a very young and talented player who we expect great things in. The next season will be different, it's not easy to play at FC Barcelona the first year because Soccer model is quite different from the rest."
The Frenchman enjoyed a blistering season in Germany with Dortmund prior to moving to Catalonia, making the Bundesliga's team of the year, before being chosen by Barca the following summer to replace the outgoing Neymar.