Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany has sent a contract ultimatum to Ousmane Dembele ahead of January.
The Frenchman will enter the final six months of his deal next month, and he is free to speak with foreign clubs.
The Blaugrana are keen to avoid the situation, and Alemany wants Dembele to sort out his future before the New Year.
He told Barca TV: “We’ve been working on it for a long time, always with the desire of reaching an agreement because his idea is to stay and he gives us a lot of confidence.
“We are now in a key moment. We hope that everything will be cleared up before the end of the year.”
Football Today verdict
Dembele has suffered numerous injuries since joining Barcelona in 2017. The current season has seen a similar pattern.
He recently returned after knee and hamstring injuries to become a regular starter under Xavi Hernandez.
Last season, it was reported that Dembele had doubts over his playing time amid the fierce competition for places.
The scenario has completely changed with the shock exits of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann over the summer.
Dembele is now valued highly by Xavi and the club’s hierarchy. The onus is on finding a solution before January.
In case there is another contract stand-off, the Blaugrana could be tempted to sanction his sale next month.
Alemany has acknowledged that any potential arrivals next month will depend on players leaving the club.
La Liga have placed spending restrictions on the Blaugrana as they still need to lower their wage bill significantly.
Read: Barcelona identify Man Utd star as their priority striker target.
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