Highly-rated attacker chooses Borussia Dortmund over Liverpool
Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of highly-rated forward Ousmane Dembele, with the teenager set to join the club from French side Rennes at the end of the season despite being linked with a move to Premier League side Liverpool.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has personally spoken to Dembele with the Reds considering a move for the 18-year-old but Dortmund announced today that they have reached a deal with Rennes that will see the France Under-21 international join them for the 2016/17 season.
The much-sought-after Frenchman has scored 12 times and laid on five assists during 25 overall appearances for the Ligue 1 side this season.
Dortmund announced the news on its club website, confirming that Dembele has signed a five-year contract that runs until 2021.
Speaking after agreeing to join the Bundesliga side, Dembele said: "Dortmund tried very early to sign me and always kept in close contact with me - this behaviour has really impressed me.
"The concept of Dortmund convinced me totally. I cannot wait to play in the Bundesliga before more than 80,000 spectators at Signal Iduna Park and with my new teammates in the Champions League."
"Ousmane can play in almost every position on the offensive," said Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc.
"He is strong in one-on-ones, two-footed, tricky, fast and a goal threat."
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke added: "Ousmane has always given the impression that he wants nothing more than to play for our special club, to play our intensive football in our unique stadium."
Willkommen in Dortmund! // Welcome to Dortmund! // Bienvenue à Dortmund, @Dembouz! 👍👍👍— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) May 12, 2016
Liverpool were in the hunt for Dembele, having already agreed deals to sign Schalke defender Joel Matip and Red Star Belgrade midfielder Marko Grujic ahead of the new season, but they have missed out on the forward and Klopp will need to target alternative reinforcements throughout the summer.
One of those alternatives could well be a former Dortmund player in Mario Götze, with the Germany international reported to have been told he can leave Bayern Munich by incoming manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Klopp and Gotze during their Dortmund days
Liverpool are keen on signing the World Cup winner, with Klopp nurturing Götze during their years at Dortmund together, and the arrival of Dembele in a reported £28million deal could suggest that the German side will not pursue the Bayern midfielder.
Jack de Menezes