• Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman talks about Ousmane Demebele's situation
  • Dembele has been a target of top European clubs such as Manchester United
  • Koeman has been an admirer of the Frenchman's game

Ronald Koeman is hoping that one of his vital players isn’t going anywhere at the end of the season.

Barcelona was able to maintain its La Liga title hopes following another sensational win over Villadolid on Monday at Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi and Sergino Dest had been aggressive in the attack, but it was Ousmane Dembele who saved the day with a late game-winning goal.

Dembele has been impressive in recent games, and his resurgence has got big-name clubs eyeing a move for him in the summer.

Addressing the two-time La Liga champ’s situation, Barcelona manager Koeman admitted that he wants his “important player” to stay.

“Of course he is an important player, he has shown today with his game and especially with his goal,” Koeman said of Dembele after the match. “Ousmane’s career this season is very good, physically he has improved a lot, it is the key to his consistency. If it’s up to me, of course, I’d like him to stay with us.”

Recent reports revealed that Manchester United has been rumored to have already held talks for a possible loan deal for Dembele last summer.

After the said deal collapsed, the Red Devils are believed to be rekindling their interest in Barcelona’s second most expensive signing of all time.

The 23-year-old’s current deal with Barcelona will end next year, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side is expected to either launch a bid at the end of the season or wait until the player’s contract expires and sign him without dealing with the transfer fee.

However, Manchester United’s pursuit of Dembele might not be as easy as it sounds as another team is also keeping tabs on the attacking midfielder.

Apparently, reigning Serie A champion Juventus is also reportedly planning to raid Dembele in the next transfer window.

 Ousmane Dembele (L) of Barcelona competes for the ball with Axel Witsel of Borussia Dortmund
Ousmane Dembele (L) of Barcelona competes for the ball with Axel Witsel of Borussia Dortmund Getty Images | Pablo Morano

Dembele left Borussia Dortmund for Barcelona in 2017 and quickly made his mark in the Catalan club. However, recurring injuries hindered his progress. In fact, the Frenchman only managed to play five games last season.

Nevertheless, Koeman didn’t lose his confidence in Dembele as the pair managed to have a productive season in the current campaign.

"Physically, Ousmane Dembele has improved a lot and I have no doubt about his quality as a player,” Koeman said in a press conference ahead of the Real Betis clash in February. “I don't know how he was in the past. He's great, good one against one, and adds a lot of depth to our game. I love this player, and now he's very happy, which is very nice.”