£96.8m Barca’s striker Dembele faces second injury lay-off

Barcelona’s £96.8m forward Ousmane Dembele will be out for another month because of a hamstring injury.

The France international – the third most expensive player in history – was injured during Sunday’s 4-2 La Liga win at Real Sociedad.

It was only the 20-year-old’s fourth game after returning from a hamstring problem he sustained in September.

Though both injuries have been to his left thigh, the latest setback is not a recurrence of the earlier problem.

Dembele was injured in just his third game after joining Barca for a then club record fee last summer, and the former Rennes player then required surgery.

A club statement yesterday read: “Tests have confirmed the player has suffered a hamstring injury of the semitendinosus muscle that does not affect the area operated on earlier in the season.

“The injury will mean he will be out for a period of around three to four weeks.”

Barca paid an initial £96.8m to sign Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in August, a fee the Spanish league leaders eclipsed last week by paying £142m to recruit Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.

Coutinho may not make his Barca debut until next month as he is also injured. The Brazilian forward missed Liverpool’s opening two games of 2018 because of a thigh problem.