Barca secure €147m Dembele and still have sights set on Liverpool’s Coutinho

August 29 – Barcelona were never going to waste time spending the €222 million world record fee they received for Neymar. But the fact they have spent two thirds of the money on the vastly less experienced Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund is already being viewed by some experts as something of a gamble with the transfer window slamming shut in two days’ time.

Dembele was presented on the pitch at the Nou Camp on Monday and insisted he is not feeling under pressure despite being Barca’s record signing and the second most expensive footballer of all-time following the afore-mentioned Neymar’s departure to PSG.

“(I feel) no pressure, no nerves. It’s the transfer market going a bit crazy. But I’m here to do my work well on the pitch and help the team,” Dembele told reporters following the move that could eventually cost €147 million.

Dembele, who has signed a five-year deal, shot to prominence after one season at Rennes and a €15 million move to Dortmund last summer but says he has not been signed to fill Neymar’s boots.

“There’s a big difference between Neymar and me. Neymar is one of the best players in the world, I am very young. I’m improving day to day, trying to improve and to grow.”

“I’m not here to replace Neymar. They needed a player in this position, they called me and I will give everything for this club. I’m 20, I have a lot to learn and that’s why I’m at this big club.”

Dembele made his senior debut for France in 2016, his only goal in seven caps to date coming in a 3-2 win over England in June.

Meanwhile  Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez hinted on Monday that he is still negotiating with Liverpool over Philippe Coutinho and hoped to complete a deal for the prized midfielder before the transfer window closes Thursday night.

“It’s true we are in negotiations over a player to try and sign them. We hope to reach a deal and present a new player,” Fernandez told a news conference.

Contact the writer of this story at