Barcelona have confirmed that Ousmane Dembele will be sold, as the French winger is out of contract at the Nou Camp this summer.
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Manager Xavi Hernandez was asked about Dembele’s contract situation and confirmed that Barcelona will try to move him on in January as he will not sign a new contract.
Reportedly Barca have offered him a new deal on significantly reduced wages.
Dembele, 24, has apparently told Xavi he wants to stay at Barcelona but his agent has been saying otherwise and claims that Barcelona have threatened the winger that he will not play for the next six months unless he signs a new deal.
Speaking in his press conference, Xavi confirmed that Dembele will be allowed to leave in January unless he signs a new deal and said he will not sit in the stands as long as he is at Barca.
Barcelona make position clear
“The situation is complex, it is a difficult. The club has made a decision that if he doesn’t renew his contract we need to find a solution, one for him, one for us,” Xavi said. “We can’t be in this situation. We have waited for a long time. The clubs decision isn’t easy. We’ve been at this for five months now. We’ve been having conversations with the player and his agent and we can’t wait anymore. Either he renews his contract or we look for a solution for the player.”
Xavi continued: “The message is clear. Ousmane Dembele has to sign a new contract or we find a way to sell him in January. No other way. I also wonder about the agent is talking the way he is and Dembele, on the other hand, telling me he wants to stay. I can’t understand.”
🔊 Xavi: ❝Dembélé's situation is complex. If he doesn’t renew his contract, we need to find a solution❞ pic.twitter.com/TCopnlIa8z
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 19, 2022
Next destination: the Premier League?
Dembele’s quality is undoubted but his record with injuries over the last few years has been horrendous. He joined Barcelona for $158 million from Dortmund in 2017 and has scored 31 goals in 129 appearances. That’s an average of around eight goals in 32 appearances per year.
Despite that, there will be Premier League clubs lining up to sign him. The thing is, they can all talk to Dembele now and agree a pre-contract agreement for the summer on a free transfer, so why would any of them sign him now and pay Barcelona a transfer fee?
The French winger has all of the power here and Barcelona know it, so they will likely allow him to leave for free in January just to get him off the wage bill as their financial situation continues to cause them huge problems.
Which Premier League clubs need Dembele? Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City all seem like very good options for him, especially with Thomas Tuchel formerly getting the best out of him at Dortmund and Chelsea struggling in attack. Newcastle United have also been linked with Dembele as they can pay huge wages for him.
In Europe the likes of PSG, Bayern Munich and Juventus will all be looking at Dembele’s situation too.
Simply put, Dembele will be on the move either this month or in the summer unless something changes drastically and he signs a new deal at Barcelona.