Barcelona 'interested' in Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele - Umtiti

Samuel Umtiti has told L'Equipe that Barcelona would love to bring Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele to the Camp Nou this summer as they seek to close the gap on rivals Real Madrid.

Dembele, 20, moved to Dortmund less than a year ago from Rennes and enjoyed an impressive maiden season in Germany with 10 goals and 21 assists in all competitions for the Bundesliga club, helping them qualify for next season's Champions League and win the DFB Pokal.

Given he is just a year into a five-year contract at Dortmund, Dembele would likely cost Barcelona a big fee, but Umtiti, 23, said his close friend and France international teammate is a potential recruit for the La Liga side.

"Ousmane and I make a lot of fun out of each other, and I know the club is interested in his profile," Umtiti said. "Of course, all the parties need to come to an agreement, but Ousmane would do us the world of good with his qualities. If he comes, I'll welcome him with open arms. If he wants, I'll take him in, he'll sleep at my place and I'll take care of him!"

Like Dembele, Umtiti has been a success at his new club after swapping Lyon for Barca last summer.

The centre-back was a surprise standout performer for the club last season, earning praise despite the squad coming under fire for failing to contribute more than the Copa del Rey to their trophy cabinet.

The coach that oversaw what was considered a disappointing campaign, Luis Enrique, has departed the club, and Umtiti says he was disappointed to see him go.

"He played a big role in me coming to Barcelona," he said. "I would have liked him to stay, because I get on well with him and he made me improve. But it's football, just like for the players, there are coaches who leave and others who come. You have to deal with it."

New Barca coach Ernesto Valverde wil be charged with toppling Madrid from the summit of Spanish and European football.

The Champions League winners finished three points clear of Barca, who Umtiti claimed had lacked the consistency of Zinedine Zidane's side in the La Liga title race.

"There were ups and downs. We weren't consistent while Real strung wins together and that cost us the league," Umtiti said. "Yes, inconsistent, that's the word that sums up our season. At such a club, with such a team and such players, we have to win major trophies like the league and the Champions League."