Juventus have taken an interest in Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé and the Frenchman could be used as part of the deal which would see Miralem Pjanic move to Catalonia.
The Blaugrana are keen to get a number of high earners off their books to ease some financial pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic. Along with Dembélé, the likes of Nelson Semedo, Samuel Umtiti, Ivan Rakitic and Arthur Melo are among the high-profile stars Barcelona are supposedly willing to jettison once the transfer window reopens.
Catalan news outlet Mundo Deportivo has reported Juventus, who are currently locked in negotiations with Barça regarding a swap deal between Pjanic and Arthur, have enquired about the possibility of including 23-year-old Dembélé as part of the deal instead.
Arthur isn’t keen on departing Camp Nou, and with the Brazilian unlikely to have a change of heart anytime soon, the two clubs are said to be exploring possibilities with other players.
Right-back Nelson Semedo is another who’s cropped up as an alternative, although the Portuguese international is subject of interest from Manchester City and, according to his agent Jorge Mendes, could be included in a swap deal which would see Joao Cancelo make the switch to Catalonia.
So that leaves Dembélé, who – despite his persistent injury woes – remains an exciting option for Juventus due to his supreme talent.
Since his hefty £97m move from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, Dembele has been able to turn out in Blaugrana colours on just 74 occasions, scoring 19 times. Following a fairly productive La Liga campaign which saw him rack up 13 goal contributions, a pair of hamstring injuries have seen him notch a mere 492 minutes in all competitions this term.
And with his injury history in mind, Juve are believed to be interested in securing the Frenchman on an initial loan deal before making an assessment about his long-term future.
Barcelona boss Quique Setien, however, is a fan of Dembele due to the different dynamic he provides to the Catalans’ attack as a result of his willingness to run in behind and ambidexterity. A potential deal, therefore, could be tricky.