BERLIN (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund have extended the suspension of talented forward Ousmane Dembele indefinitely after the 20-year-old France international skipped training last week amid speculation of a possible move to Barcelona.
The Bundesliga club said on Sunday it would keep Dembele’s ban for missing training in place after the player was told he was initially suspended until after Saturday’s first round German Cup tie against amateurs Rielasingen-Arlen.
“Our focus now is to have a concentrated preparation for the start of the Bundesliga (next week),” Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc said in a statement.
“Obviously Ousmane Dembele has the opportunity to do individual training separate from the team.”
Dembele is seen as a potential successor to Neymar at Barcelona, after the Brazilian’s record 222 million euro ($262.32 million) move to Paris St Germain earlier this month.
An initial Barca offer was rejected by Dortmund with club bosses saying it was too low.
German media have estimated the price of a move at more than 100 million euros.
Dembele joined Dortmund, who will compete in the Champions League group stage, from French side Rennes on a five-year deal in 2016.
($1 = 0.8463 euros)
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by John O'Brien