Barcelona have been given an ultimatum in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele with the German club reportedly informing them that they need to meet their demands and complete the deal by Sunday (27 August), or else forget about signing the Frenchman.
The Bundesliga club have made it known that they are willing to sell Dembele to the Catalan giants this summer, but are unwilling to lower their €150m (£137m) valuation of the player.
According to Spanish publication Marca, the two clubs met again on Sunday (20 August) with Barcelona making a second offer of around €130m – €100m upfront with €30m in add-ons – but their bid was rejected by Dortmund yet again.
The Spanish club is confident of completing the deal and even indicated recently that a deal was imminent. However their claim was rubbished by the German club with CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke making it clear that they will not accept a bid €30m lower than their valuation.
Barcelona have identified Dembele as the ideal replacement for Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m (£198m) deal, but will have to match Dortmund's valuation to have any chance to take him to the Camp Nou this summer.
The France international is also keen to move and has tried to force the move by going AWOL from training.
The forward, who joined from Rennes last summer, has been suspended and will be fined for missing training. A recent Marca report suggests that the player's agent has instructed him to cut off all contact with his current employers, which is not only damaging his reputation with the club but also among the supporters in Germany.
Dortmund are keen to retain the Frenchman for one more season, but if he leaves, they might not have to look for a replacement for Dembele. Christian Pulisic looks like he is ready to step into the former Rennes forward's role and has shown his potential in Dortmund's two games thus far.
The 18-year-old United States international has played two games this season – one in the Bundesliga and the other in the DFL-Supercup – and has contributed with two goals and one assist while playing as a winger.