Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out for five weeks after tearing his hamstring in training on Monday, the club have confirmed.
The lively frontman featured in Barca’s opening day defeat to Athletic Bilbao but came under criticism from fans for his performance at the San Mames.
Injuries to Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez prior to the news of Dembele’s absence – saw the Frenchman and international team-mate Antoine Griezmann be Barca’s only real attacking options, but it will now be the latter who has that task on his lone shoulders for the weekend game against Real Betis.
Whilst Messi is expected to make an appearance on Sunday evening at the Camp Nou against Betis, Dembele will now miss five weeks, prompting further speculation that the Catalan club could make a move for Neymar to return from Paris Saint Germain.
It had been rumoured that Dembele could be part of a player swap deal for Neymar, but that has now been downplayed and with his latest injury – the Frenchman seems to be staying at the Camp Nou this season.
Neymar, who has been keen on a return to Barca since the turn of the year – has been absent from PSG’s last two games and forced to train on his own.
According to various media reports – a loan offer is expected to be offered by Barca in the coming days.