Barcelona have agreed personal terms with long-term target Ousmane Dembele.
Camp Nou chiefs tried to sign the French sensation before he joined Dortmund last season – encouraged by guarantees on playing time.
And Spanish paper Sport claims Barca have launched a huge £61.6million offer for Dembele, who cost just £10.5m 12 months ago.
Their bid would see the Bundesliga outfit receive £44m up front with the rest to be paid in add-ons.
The rapid winger – on Barcelona’s radar since playing for the French Under-15s – has reportedly agreed a five-year deal.
Technical secretary Robert Fernandez went to France to try and convince him to join from Rennes before his move to Germany.
And his failure will cost Barca a huge amount, with Dortmund holding out for £80m – an incredible 800 per cent mark-up.
Dembele is a close friend of international team-mate Samuel Umtiti – who left Lyon for Barca in 2016 – after coming through the youth ranks together.
New boss Ernesto Valverde has already plotted how to fit Dembele, 20, into his system.
Sport believe Lionel Messi will operate behind Luis Suarez and Neymar with Jordi Alba and the potential new arrival offering pace and guile down the flanks.
Another option is Gerard Deulofeu, who recently completed his return from Everton.
Ousmane Dembele fact file
- Dembele was born in Vernon, Normandy on May 15 1997.
- He played youth football for Evreux and Rennes until 2015 when he was promoted to the reserves.
- Dembele scored 12 league goals for Rennes’ first team to earn a move to Dortmund after just one season.
- The Bundesliga outfit beat Barcelona to the signing by promising the talent game time and gave him 49 appearances in all competitions.
- Dembele made his France debut in 2016 and has gone on to win seven caps.
- He scored his first international goal in the 3-2 win over England in June 2017.
But Barcelona – who are reeling from missing out on the La Liga title and a humiliating European exit – are desperate to make an impression in the market.
Their mantra is to secure the best talents in world football even if they have to pay over the odds which could see Dortmund receive their valuation.