Barcelona's pursuit of a replacement for Neymar has generated about a million and one stories over the past week, with the Blaugrana desperate to spent a significant chunk of the 222 million they received from Paris Saint-Germain on a player to fill the Brazilian's boots at the Camp Nou.

Philippe Coutinho is one player who's name continues to crop up in reports, with Barcelona seeing an initial bid in the region of £75 million rejected for Liverpool's Brazilian playmaker, who, according to some reports, has handed in a transfer request at Anfield.

The other player that is being linked with a move to Catalonia with increasing regularity is Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele.

The Frenchman, a £13 million arrival from Rennes last summer, has recently gone AWOL from Dortmund in an apparent attempt to force the Bundesliga club's hand in negotiations with Barca.

Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembele

The young Frenchman lit up the Bundesliga in his debut season with Borussia Dortmund. Image: PA

With stories circulating about the 20-year-old's future, BVB issued an official statement on their position regarding the potential sale of one of their most prized assets.

And, with Barca readying a deal worth North of £100 million for a player who cost only a tenth of that a year ago, club legend Xavi has revealed that he believes Dembele is the correct player for the club to be targeting to replace Neymar.

Speaking to Eurosport, the four time Champions League winner said, "He is a versatile player, with a lot of physical and technical qualities, and very fast in addition.

"He is excellent in the last pass. Now, he is 20-years-old. This means two things: he has all the future ahead of him, but he will have to demonstrate that he also has the mental strength to impose himself in a club as demanding as Barça.

"His age is his strength as well as his handicap. But with his qualities, the club must take a risk on him.

"The price? Today, any good player is worth millions."

Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembele

The 20-year-old winger also has Xavi's seal of approval. Image: PA

Do you agree with Xavi? Is Dembele the right choice for Barcelona? Or should Ernesto Valverde be looking elsewhere for a player to replace Neymar?

Have your say in the comments sections below and on our Facebook page.

(H/T EuroSport)

Featured Image Credit: PA

Joe Baiamonte

Northerner. Assistant Editor of SPORTbible. Studied Journalism and Broadcasting in a portakabin on a car park of Salford University for three years. Believes football peaked with Serie A in the '90s and strong-arms pro wrestling references into as many articles as possible. Neymar once took 50 euros off me during a game of poker.

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