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Plan B: if no Leroy Sané, then Ousmane Dembélé?

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The odds that Leroy Sané will come to Munich seem slighter than ever, but Bayern allegedly has a Plan B: former Dortmund bad boy Ousmane Dembélé?

Deportivo Alaves v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Ousmane Dembélé at a match between Deportivo Alaves and FC Barcelona, April 23, 2019.
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Every transfer window (even before they open) brings its own unique flavor. This (post)season, since Bayern Munich arranged its defensive signings long in advance, has revolved around the question of what Bayern will do to replace the two roster spots vacated by Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Enter Leroy Sané — who suddenly seemed potentially interested in leaving Manchester City for Bayern — except that the latest reports suggest he seemingly has no genuine interest in leaving. Well.

But wait! Now Bild (paywall) claim Bayern has “a spectacular plan B”! Who could that be? None other than former Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembélé, who helped to force his transfer from the Signal Iduna Park to Camp Nou for a stately transfer fee of potentially €145 million, counting bonuses. Barcelona is currently working on bringing its own wayward winger Neymar back home from PSG, and perhaps Antoine Griezmann from Atlético Madrid as well. With all that firepower potentially a bank transaction away, poor Dembélé would need a new home.

Bild states that Dembélé’s biggest advocate at Bayern is club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. It certainly is not club president Uli Hoeness, who publicly criticized the star’s conduct in August 2017 and subsequently averred he would not have let Dembélé leave at all, had he been in Dortmund’s position. Hoeness handled Robert Lewandowski’s own efforts to transfer to Real Madrid similarly: he told Lewandowski’s superstar agent Pini Zahavi he had no time to meet him until August 31 — after the transfer window closed.

What then to think about this latest report? Is it bogus — another canard? — or is Bayern desperate? Dembélé is under contract until 2022, giving Barcelona ample leverage over any potential deal; he would presumably cost as much as Leroy Sané, given the inflated price Barcelona paid for him. Bild offers no further details, at least not online.

I, at least, would be very surprised — and a little disappointed — if Bayern Munich bought Ousmane Dembélé.