Dembele over Mbappe? Former Barcelona president lays blame on others for ill-fated transfer choice

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Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu blamed others at the club for choosing to sign Ousmane Dembele instead of Kylian Mbappe in 2017.

Bartomeu, who resigned in disgrace last year amid legal investigation, says the coaching staff recommended Dembele because the winger could do a better job of opening up the field.

Since then, Mbappe has gone on to largely fulfil his potential while Dembele has seen his career stalled massively by injuries.

What has been said?

"[Mbappe's] signing was on the table, but the coaches preferred Dembele because they wanted a player to open the field," Bartomeu said, as reported by AS.

On the now-criticised moves for Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, he said: "Some of the transfers we have done have not met expectations, players who have cost a lot of money, but these things happen in football.

"When those two players were signed, they were applauded by everyone. Coutinho came because Iniesta was going. He was the best in the Premier League. Dembele came because of Neymar's departure."

Ousmanne Dembele Barcelona 2020-21

Dembele injury latest

Dembele is currently out with a hamstring injury he picked up at Euro 2020. He started training last week but no date has been set for when he will rejoin the first team.

His contract with Barcelona will expire in the summer.

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Will Barcelona now watch Real Madrid sign Mbappe?

To make matters worse, it appears a side effect of missing out on Mbappe in 2017 will be the forward joining rivals Real Madrid.

Mbappe grew up idolising Cristiano Ronaldo and now seems set on moving to the Santiago Bernabeu next summer after efforts to force a transfer in August were unsuccessful.

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