Opinion: there are only two ways Arsenal can secure Dembele signing
Andrew Dowdeswell reckons the only 2 ways to land the Barcelona winger is to get him on loan or sell Ramsey.
"There is perhaps only one more signing that will be made between now and Thursday’s deadline [August, 9]: Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona. The rumours have been tentative all summer, primarily stemming from Barca’s reported desire to sell and recoup as much value as possible, from Sven Mislintat’s prior relationship with Dembele having scouted him and signed him at Borussia Dortmund, from Arsenal’s need for a direct, pacy, dribbling winger.
"No one, however, never really believed that it would happen, and, subsequently, no media outlet was willing to stick their necks on the line and say with any certainty that anything would develop from the apparent interest. But then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s father posted a photo to social media of a midweek dinner involving him, his father, Alexandre Lacazette, Matteo Guendouzi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and yes, you guessed it, Ousmane Dembele.
"So let’ invite the speculation in for a while. How, if at all, will this move happen? Well, I can only think of ways that allow for this transfer to be completed.
"The first is on loan. Arsenal do not have the funds to afford both the transfer fee — likely £100 million — and the wages of Dembele. In fact, they probably can’t afford either, nevermind both. But they could put together a loan package, potentially with an intention-to-buy clause that delays much of the financial burden to next year, still sees Dembele arrive at the club, and helps Barcelona move on from a player that they are ostensibly not pleased with.
"The problem with that is that most reports have stated that Barcelona only want to sell permanently, keen to regain as much of the £135 million they spent just a year prior, to fund other moves like the signings of Malcom and Arturo Vidal they made earlier this summer. But Arsenal can’t afford that. They would have to sell to finance the move. Perhaps, then, Aaron Ramsey and his dragging-on contract could enter the fray.
"It all seems a little far-fetched and implausible. With less than a week remaining, there are a lot of cogs to fit together in not a lot of time. But if they do fit together, one of these two things has to happen."