Barcelona were looking to offload some of their highest earners in the summer due to their well-documented injury crisis as they looked to pay the salaries of newcomers such as Memphis Depay and former Cityzens Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero.
One player that looked likely to depart the La Liga giants was Ousmane Dembele - who picked up an injury during the Euro 2020 tournament in June that kept him out of action until this month.
According to Diario AS, the costly attacker was offered to Manchester City, however the Premier League champions turned him down.
Barca had sent director of football Mateu Alemany to Manchester in an attempt to strike a deal with the club but Pep Guardola’s side weren’t interested – potentially something to do with his £210k p/w wages or the fact he has spent over 600 days sidelined since his arrival in Spain.
The Frenchman joined Barcelona in 2017 for around £120 million after enjoying a hugely successful spell as a teenager with Borussia Dortmund, however has since been plagued with injuries.
The 24-year-old picked up a knee injury during the Euro 2020 tournament with France which saw him miss out on the start of Barcelona’s La Liga campaign.
Dembele only returned from his four month absence when he came on as a substitute against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League last week, however he has since already picked up a hamstring problem which could see him sidelined for another few weeks.
Despite his well-known injury issues, Barcelona were reportedly well aware that Pep Guardiola was ‘in love’ with Dembele and didn’t back down in their attempts to move him onto the Premier League side – making three separate offers to City.
After City turned down an initial simple transfer deal due to financial fair play difficulties, Barca returned with the proposition of a swap deal that would see Dembele and Ronald Araujo move to England, while Aymeric Laporte and Raheem Sterling would go the other way.
Once that too was turned down, Alemany attempted a straight exchange of players between Dembele and Sterling, however that deal collapsed when the City winger refused to join the Catalan club.
For now Dembele remains a Barcelona player, however it is likely he will receive plenty of interest in the January transfer window, with Newcastle United one club rumoured to be keen on his signature.