Guillem Balague has poured cold water on the suggestion that Arsenal could sign FC Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele in the January transfer window.
The France international has emerged as a potential target for the north London side over the past week or so following his latest reprimand at the Spanish side.
Dembele is rumoured to be frustrating his current FC Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde at Camp Nou due to his lack of discipline and unprofessional attitude.
The 21-year-old has scored 10 times in 38 games for FC Barcelona since his £135m move to FC Barcelona from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in the 2017 summer transfer window.
Dembele was signed by Dortmund in 2015 during Sven Mislintat’s spell at the Bundesliga club before he was appointed as Arsenal’s head of recruitment at the end of 2017.
Given Mislintat’s link to Demebele, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Gunners have been touted with an interest in the France international.
However, Sky Sports expert Balague has ruled out Arsenal making a swoop to sign the World Cup winner in light of disciplinary problems at the Spanish giants.
“There is no reason – not in January anyway,” Balague told his YouTube channel, as quoted by the Daily Star.
“But why would Arsenal go and get a player who has just been punished for disciplinary reasons by Barcelona?
“He has been pointed out by Ivan Rakitic and Gerard Pique, two leaders of the squad, that he needs to change.
“Someone mentioned Nikolas Anelka as a comparison.
“He has the ability but does not know what is required to be a professional of the highest standard.
“What I see is someone who is not comfortable at the top of the game.”
Arsenal were dealt a blow earlier this month after England international Danny Welbeck suffered a serious ankle injury during the goalless draw with Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League.
Given Arsenal’s participation in four different competitions this season, the Gunners will be eager to ensure there is sufficient depth in their squad.
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