Barcelona bosses plan to meet winger Ousmane Dembele in the next few days to discuss a new contract for the Frenchman.
Dembele’s contract has been in place for the last 12 months and talks about an extension have dragged on for several months, and some at Camp Nou fear that the 24-year-old is not particularly keen on staying at the club.
Just before Euro 2020, however, Dembele gave Barcelona the first clear signal that he wants to rewrite, and Mundo Deportivo now says that a meeting has been planned between the two parties to implement the plan.
Barcelona hope to make it clear to Dembele that they see him as an integral part of the future. Despite his sketchy injury history – he is currently suspended with a hamstring injury picked up in the Euro – Barcelona are still committed to the 24-year-old and want to make sure he knows it.
With that said, Barcelona have also made it clear that they will sell Dembele this summer if he does not renew immediately. They are not prepared to let him go away for free next summer, which makes sense when you remember that he cost over £ 130 million four years ago.
Dembele has entered the final year of his contract / Aurelien Meunier / Getty Images
The prospect of having to do that is a little scary for Barcelona, who were not convinced that they would get a large sum for Dembele even before he went down with his latest injury, which is still expected to keep him out for another three months.
The only other option is to banish Dembele to the reserves, as is the case with young midfielder Ilaix Moriba, but Barcelona hope to avoid having to do something so drastic.
Despite this playful threat, the hope is that Dembele will log in and club managers Mateu Alemany and Ramon Planes are scheduled to meet with the Frenchman’s representatives next week to try to knock things out.
Dembele wanted to commit before Euros / Quality Sport Images / Getty Images
There is a lot of competition in minutes in Barcelona’s attack. Along with Lionel Messi, there are two places that can be filled by Dembele, Sergio Aguero, Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay, and Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite can also show if neither of them seals their expected moves away from the club.
Griezmann is close to a return to Atletico Madrid, and there are hopes that Braithwaite can be sold to the Premier League in the coming weeks.