Barcelona are toying with the idea of allowing big-money signing Ousmane Dembele to leave the club on a two-year loan deal this summer, and Liverpool are at the front of the queue, according to reports.
The 21-year-old struggled to record regular game time during the recently concluded campaign under Ernesto Valverde, with the Frenchman suffering a ruptured thigh muscle in September which ruled him out for over three months, as well as further muscular problems later in the season.
Ousmane Dembélé (20) starts for Barça tonight.— Scouted Football (@ScoutedFtbl) March 14, 2018
He's had to deal with so much this season: injuries, criticism of his attitude, questions about his lifestyle - all while settling into a third country in three seasons.
This is his time. 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/Y5ecYwuFFz
Alongside that, the former Borussia Dortmund attacker, who became the world's second most expensive player last summer following his £135.5m switch to the Camp Nou - subsequently dropping to fourth following the switches of Kylian Mbappe and Philippe Coutinho - has also found it difficult to adapt his game to La Liga and Barca's style of play.
And due to a somewhat uninspiring opening campaign, according to The Mirror, Barcelona are open to the idea of allowing Dembele to leave during this transfer window - albeit only temporarily.
The report claims that Liverpool, who are still recovering following their proposed move for Nabil Fekir falling through at the 11th hour, find themselves at the front of the chasing pack, as Jurgen Klopp eyes alternatives to the Olympique Lyonnais man.
La Liga expert Guillem Balague stated last month, as quoted by the Daily Star, that the Catalonians have indeed considered offloading their second most expensive signing in the club's history, although, there may be an opportunity for more regular game time should Eric Abidal fail to get the Antoine Griezmann deal over the line.
“In terms of Dembele, Barcelona have considered loaning him but not selling him,” he said. “He gives glimpses of what he can give so it would have to be a side that can give him regular football.
“But they haven’t given up on the possibility of him staying.”