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Lionel Messi approves Barcelona plan to axe £135.5m ace to land top summer target

Ousmane Dembele hasn’t had the debut season with Barcelona that he would have dreamed of, and reports claim it could cost him in the long run.

As reported by BBC Sport, the Frenchman joined the Catalan giants in a deal worth £135.5m last summer, with the 20-year-old tipped for a very bright future having shown real class at Borussia Dortmund.

However, he’s managed to make just seven appearances so far this season due to ongoing injury problems and according to Diario Gol, as re-reported by The Express, it could now be a major problem for him in terms of his aspirations of having a long-term future at Barcelona.

It’s claimed that Lionel Messi has given his blessing to offload the youngster, with a view of it helping Barca in their bid to land Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann this summer, in a €100m deal as per his release clause, as noted in the report.

In truth, Dembele’s absence hasn’t hurt Ernesto Valverde’s side this season, as evidenced by the fact that they sit top of the La Liga table and are marching on in both the Copa del Rey and Champions League to look on course to win major honours this year.

As a result, they wouldn’t effectively be weakened by the strategy detailed above, more so they would be strengthened if they are able to prise Griezmann away from their La Liga rivals.

It’s also noted by Diario Gol that Messi’s bigger concern is that any new arrivals don’t have a negative impact on Luis Suarez, and in his defence, the Uruguayan is making a case for that by himself having found his form and now bagged 19 goals in 30 appearances so far this season.

Dembele is obviously younger and remains a top prospect, one that Barca believed in not so long ago to splash out so much money on him. However, Griezmann is certainly one of the top players in Europe, and if he is acquired, Dembele may be well advised to move on anyway given the fierce competition for places.

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