Barcelona target Ousmane Dembele did not feel he was ready to play for "one of the absolutely top clubs" when he joined Borussia Dortmund from Rennes last year, according to former Bayern Munich technical director Michael Reschke.
Dortmund rejected a bid from Barcelona from the 20-year-old last week at the same time as Dembele missed training without authorisation and was suspended by the Bundesliga club.
Catalan newspaper Sport claims an initial fee of EUR100m has now been agreed between the clubs, with Barca haggling over the amount of performance related add-ons in the deal, which could reportedly amount to an extra EUR30m.
Reschke, who was recently installed as sporting director at Stuttgart, insists the present situation cannot have been too much of a surprise to Dortmund given Bayern and Barcelona were also in for Dembele when he sought an exit route from Ligue 1.
"I can assess the situation of the player very well, because we were also interested, from Munich's point of view," he told Sport Bild.
"Last year the situation was such that Barcelona and Bayern Münich also wanted to sign the player. Barcelona was already the favourite.
"However, he deliberately chose Borussia Dortmund, because he has also credibly declared that he was not yet ready to play at one of the absolute top clubs."
Dortmund travel to Wolfsburg on the opening weekend of the Bundesliga season, with Dembele suspended until further notice after he was forced to sit out the 4-0 DFB-Pokal win at Rielasingen-Arlen, and Reschke sympathises with his plight.
"It is not so easy for him to be confronted with such figures and visions," he added.