Bayern Munich officials will be getting together with their counterparts at Stade Rennais at the end of this month to discuss the potential transfer of Ousmane Dembele, according to L'Équipe. Dembele has long been a target of the Bavarians, according to various reports.
Dembele is only 18 years old and didn't make his full debut with the club until last November. Since making his debut, Dembele has managed to score nine goals in Ligue 1 and has been scouted by all of Europe's biggest clubs including Bayern and Barcelona.
However, something unusual happened. In response to the L'Équipe story, Rennes coach Rolland Courbis released the following statement n the club's website.
"Indeed, I'm responding to L'Équipe's report but with a little more details and veracity. Given that we don't care about distracting a player on the eve of an important match, I've asked team officials to contact Bayern for Lewandowski in exchange for Dembele, including a one year loan for Coman. I see both players complimentary to our good attacking players.
"Hopefully we can set up a meeting to discuss Lewandowski's transfer soon because the one for Dembele hasn't happened yet. In the meantime, I'll wait for more details from my favorite newspaper, L'Équipe."
Obviously, the message is released with Courbis's tongue planted firmly in his cheek. The "important match" that he's talking about is a Ligue 1 match against Marseille where, if they win, Rennes could find themselves all the way into France's third Champions League place. This is a huge match for the club as there are only eight matches left in the season.
From Bayern's perspective, the proposed transfer of Dembele raises the question of why the club would want to bloat the squad with five wingers. Would Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery be necessary in a squad with Douglas Costa, Kingsley Coman, and Dembele? Unlikely.
For now, a rumor is just a rumor.
Thanks to Carl Laitenberger and BFW's John Dillon for help with the translation.