Arsenal want Barcelona forward Dembele to be their sixth and final summer transfer after previous deals for Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.
The 21-year-old has been tipped to swap La Liga for the Premier League in the wake of Barcelona’s signing of Malcom from Bordeaux.
And the Daily Mail say Arsenal’s interest in Dembele has divided Barcelona chiefs.
The Catalan giants shelled out a huge £96million upfront to sign the France international from Borussia Dortmund a year ago.
Ernesto Valverde hand-picked the winger as a replacement for Neymar, who quit for PSG in a £200million deal.
Valverde ’is not overly enamoured with Dembele’ despite choosing his signing.
Barcelona chief Josep Maria Bartomeu, though, has told the player he will not be sold ahead of La Liga’s deadline of August 31.
However, the Daily Mail say the Catalan club will be happy to do business with Arsenal if they fork out £96m to sign Dembele.
Recent reports have claimed, though, the Premier League side would be more in favour of a loan deal.
And, with Barcelona playing hardball over Dembele, Gunners legend Martin Keown cannot see any more players arriving at the Emirates.
The Arsenal legend told the Daily Star: “I think it’s difficult for a manager.
“If you think about it he’s got 22 new signings doesn’t he. He’s got to come in, he’s got to work with all the players.
“He’s got four central defenders there with (Calum) Chambers, (Rob) Holding, (Shkodran) Mustafi and Sokratis. He’s got to get that message across and identify quickly.
“I don’t know whether the money’s there. I think he’s going to have to sell probably if he’s going to buy and there doesn’t seem to be much happening in the transfer market.
“So I think he’s possibly done his business nice and early and he’s going to prepare with this group, see how he goes from there and maybe the next transfer window he goes in again.”
Dembele scored just four goals for Barcelona following his arrival from Dortmund 12 months ago.
Who is Barcelona star and Arsenal target Ousmane Dembele?
Honours: DFB-Pokal (2017)
La Liga (2018)
Copa del Rey (2018)
World Cup (2018)