Barcelona new boy Ousmane Dembele has revealed why he refused to train for Borussia Dortmund before his €105m move to the Nou Camp.
The 20-year-old skipped training amid interest from Barcelona, while Dortmund rejected the Catalan club’s original offer for the winger.
Dembele was suspended by the club following his act of rebelliousness, but he has admitted that he did it in an attempt to force through a move.
— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) 3 septembre 2017
“I was relaxed,” he told Sport. “It was a question of negotiation between Barça and Borussia. I knew I had to have patience.
“I decided to stop going training. I didn’t want to go. I looked for an excuse not to go. If it didn’t work out and I hadn’t done my part to get the move to Barça, now I would be lamenting the fact I wasn’t here.”
Dembele joined Dortmund only last summer from Rennes on a five-year contract, and excelled in his first Bundesliga season.
He scored 10 times in 49 appearances in all competitions in what was a meteoric rise to prominence for a player who had only been a professional for one season at Rennes.
“My first target is to intergrate myself into the team,” he said. “To offer good performances on the pitch and, with the whole team, to win as many trophies as possible.
“My objective is to learn from the best in the world, to integrate myself into the team. I am only 20. Personal titles aren’t something which motivate me.
“I’m not scared. I am impressed. I’m focused on getting up to speed because I hadn’t trained for two weeks. There’s little else I can do apart from get to know how things work here and keep assimilating.”