KEY POINTS

  • Messi praised Dembele saying he is frightening in training
  • Dembele was among the 15 'Youth in the Rise' players Messi recently picked
  • Arsenal and Liverpool are looking to sign Dembele this summer

FC Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi has reportedly termed teammate Ousmane Dembele “frightening” as the club is gearing up to part ways with the Frenchman this summer.

Messi prepared a list of 15 young soccer players, who he believes are going to be future stars. The list was a part of Topps’ Champions League cards, which were completely designed by Messi. Apart from the "Youth on the Rise," the cards also included the "Greatest Moments" of his career and his picks for "Top Talents," according to the news reports

Out of the 15 young soccer players Messi named, one was Dembele. The Argentina superstar wrote one-liners beside the names of the 15 young players. “His pace is frightening in training”, read the Dembele card.

The French forward, who joined Barca in the summer of 2017 for a transfer fee of $119 million plus the add-ons, was welcomed hugely by the fans, making quite a big deal on his arrival day at the Nou Camp.

However, Dembele, who has scored 19 goals and 17 assists in 74 appearances for Barca, has not lived up to the hype and expectations and his stint with the Catalans has been hampered mostly by injuries. Before the coronavirus crisis halted the current season, the 22-year-old played just nine games across all the competitions.

The La Liga champions have made their decision public about wanting to let go of Dembele, who reportedly has asked for a move to the Premier League. Two big English clubs — Arsenal and Liverpool — have already shown interest in buying the talented forward. It is understood that Barca won’t let Dembele go for a cheap and whichever club would want his services will have to abide to the heavy transfer fee, which is still not disclosed.

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro challenges Barcelona's Lionel Messi Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro challenges Barcelona's Lionel Messi Photo: AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS

Barca reportedly are looking to let go of a few players in order to re-sign Neymar, a move that is understood to be difficult considering Neymar has a huge transfer fee label put by his current club, Paris Saint-Germain.

At present, soccer all around the world is halted due to the pandemic virus situation. Barca are on the top of the La Liga table ahead of Real Madrid and Seville.