Barca boss Koeman unsure of Dembele's future amid Man Utd links

By Sports Desk October 04, 2020

Ronald Koeman is not sure where Ousmane Dembele will be playing when the transfer window closes as the Barcelona forward continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United.

Dembele has reportedly emerged as an alternative to Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho for Premier League giants United, who are determined to bolster their squad before Monday's deadline.

After watching Barca's 3-0 win over Celta Vigo from the stands, Dembele was once again an unused substitute in Sunday's 1-1 LaLiga draw at home to Sevilla.

Barca head coach Koeman was asked about Dembele post-match and he said: "What is certain in the world? I don't know.

"At the moment, he's a Barcelona player. There's still one day left for incomings and outgoings. We'll see.

"I opted for [Francisco] Trinao, Pedri and [Miralem] Pjanic [off the bench].

"We needed more control and that's why I made these changes."

Barca's 100 per cent start to the season was ended by Sevilla following a draw at Camp Nou, where Luuk de Jong and Philippe Coutinho traded goals.

De Jong opened the scoring for Sevilla in the eighth minute, but Barca star Coutinho restored parity just two minutes later.

Barca and Sevilla both have seven points from their opening three matches, three points adrift of leaders and champions Real Madrid.

"It was a difficult game," Koeman said. "They pressed us well. Our problem was that our play with the ball wasn't how we would like.

"They play good football, they press well and physically they're stronger than us. They're a top team.

"I think we played well, but we lost the ball a lot in the second half, so it's difficult to get into a rhythm in the game.

"I'm happy with the team's performance. The team was tired, but we fought until the end. But [we played against] a great opponent."

Antoine Griezmann produced another underwhelming display and he was the first player withdrawn by Koeman just past the hour-mark, like he was against Celta.

"The change the other day [against Celta Vigo] was tactical," Koeman added. "With Ansu [Fati] we had more penetration and pace - something we needed in Vigo with 10 men.

"Today, [Griezmann] had two opportunities [to score] and, for a player of his quality, he should've scored either of those two chances."

Related items

  • Isco wants to try another league – agent Isco wants to try another league – agent

    Isco wants an exit from Real Madrid and LaLiga, according to his agent.

    The 28-year-old, who is contracted at Madrid until 2022, has struggled for game time, making just three league starts so far this season.

    Everton, Arsenal and Manchester City have been linked with the 38-time Spain international, who has been at Madrid since 2013.

    His agent and father, Francisco Alarcon, said Isco was seeking a move, but would have no problems staying at Madrid.

    "Right now, we have no offers, but Isco wants to try another league," he told Cadena SER on Monday.

    He added: "Staying in Madrid would not be a problem."

    Isco has won two LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies since joining Madrid from Malaga.

    However, he last made at least 20 league starts in a single campaign in 2017-18.

  • I haven't been at my best – Griezmann I haven't been at my best – Griezmann

    Antoine Griezmann admitted he was yet to get to his best at Barcelona and said he needed more time.

    Griezmann has struggled to make his mark at Barca since arriving from Atletico Madrid for €120million last year.

    The forward has scored just 17 goals in 58 games in all competitions for the LaLiga giants, who are struggling in 13th in the table.

    Griezmann said he was prepared to accept criticism of his performances, but highlighted it had been a difficult period for the club.

    "I accept them because I know that we are not seeing the best Griezmann," he told Movistar on Monday.

    He added: "In a year and a half I have had three coaches ... that's not easy. I need time to adapt to my colleagues and they to me, and on top of system changes.

    "In addition, the candidates for the presidency also talk about me. I don't think it's the best thing for me for them to talk about whether or not I'm a good signing."

    Griezmann has scored two goals and provided one assist in eight LaLiga games so far this season.

    His big chance conversion (50 per cent) is at its highest since 2017-18, when it was 59.3 per cent and he netted 19 league goals for Atletico Madrid.

    However, his involvement at Barca compared to Atletico is down. Only once during five seasons at Atletico – in 2014-15 – did he have fewer successful passes per 90 minutes than so far this season (28.4). His 43.4 touches per 90 this campaign are lower than he had in any of his seasons at Atletico.

    Griezmann has also created just 0.7 chances per 90 minutes in LaLiga in 2020-21, and not once did he have a lower figure at Atletico.

    Coming off a 1-0 loss to Atletico, Barcelona visit Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday.

  • Griezmann: Messi said he was going to death with me and I feel it every day Griezmann: Messi said he was going to death with me and I feel it every day

    Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann insisted his relationship with Lionel Messi was good, saying he felt the star was ready to go to "death" with him.

    Griezmann has struggled to make his mark at Barcelona since arriving from Atletico Madrid for €120million last year.

    The forward's relationship with Messi has been questioned, and Griezmann admitted his decision to reject Barca in 2018 had affected the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

    However, Griezmann said there were no doubts over his relationship with Messi now.

    "I arrived at Barcelona after the rejection the year before," he told Movistar on Monday.

    "There could have been comments even in the dressing room, from journalists, from the fans and that is why when I arrived I wanted to apologise on the pitch. If some have been offended, I will ask for forgiveness giving everything on the field.

    "I spoke with Leo when I arrived and he told me that it screwed him when I refused to go the first time, because he had made public comments and that in the end I said no, but that we were on the same team and that he was going to death with me and it's what I notice and feel every day."

    Griezmann's former agent and his uncle both questioned Messi earlier this month, with Barcelona now struggling in 13th in the LaLiga table.

    But France international Griezmann distanced himself from the pair.

    "I stopped having a relationship [with my former agent] from the day I got married. On my wedding day I invited him and he didn't come. That's why I stopped having a relationship with him," he said.

    "He speaks because as neither my father nor my sister speak to the press, they call him. But Leo knows that I have a lot of respect and admiration for him."

    Griezmann added: "My uncle doesn't know how football works. And in the end, the journalist ended up getting the phrase out of him.

    "I told Leo that I never speak to them. In fact, I don't even have my uncle's phone number."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.