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Arsenal really did submit a late loan offer for Ousmane Dembele, but it was swiftly rejected by Barcelona, according to reports.
Catalan radio station RAC1 claim the rumours were true, and Arsenal offered €10m to Barcelona as a loan fee for the year, plus another €90m to make the transfer permanent at the end of the season.
Barcelona reportedly didn’t even pass the offer onto Dembele for consideration, as they didn’t believe he had any interest in leaving the club anyway.
One thing to keep in mind is that this flies directly in the face of deadline day claims made by the BBC’s generally reliable David Ornstein.
He wrote on Twitter that all reports of an Arsenal bid for Dembele were false, and despite links to the player a move was never realistic for the Gunners.
Reports of Arsenal bid for Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele false. As previously reported incoming business completed a month ago. Were open to exceptional deal if chance arose (admire & have links to Dembele) but never realistic. #AFC optimistic on Ramsey contract but not close
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) August 9, 2018
The conspiracy theorists are of course convinced that Ornstein is just trying to help Arsenal save face by hiding reports of a failed bid.
Those same people then claim Arsenal only made the bid so late on so they could act like they tried, which doesn’t make much sense if they then hide the story from the public. I don’t think logic was ever part of this equation though.
One thing’s for sure, and that’s that Dembele won’t be playing his football in North London this season, unfortunately.