Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele, a reported transfer target for Spanish giants Barcelona, missed training with the team on Thursday according to coach Peter Bosz.
“Dembele wasn’t at training today,” Bosz told a news conference. “We don’t know where he is, we have tried to reach him and hope that nothing bad has happened.”
The 20-year-old French international Dembele moved to Dortmund from Nice last year and impressed in his first Bundesliga season, prompting interest from elsewhere.
Barcelona, who have money to spend after selling Neymar for a world record 222 million euros (263 million dollars) to Paris Saint-Germain, have been strongly linked to the young talent in recent days.
On Saturday, Dortmund would play lower league minnows Rielasingen-Arlen as they open their defence of the German Cup.
“We have to try to go as far as possible again this year,” Bosz said. “Our cup opponents deserve respect. It’s clear what we have to do, from the beginning.”