The long-running contract saga involving Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele could conclude this week as the player’s agent has arrived in Spain for a final round of talks.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the Frenchman’s representative Moussa Sissoko has landed in Barcelona ahead of the final meeting with the Camp Nou hierarchy.
Dembele has less than six months left to run on his current contract at Barca, with each of the club’s previous attempts to tie him down to a new deal coming a cropper.
The 24-year-old is reluctant to commit to new terms in Catalunya, having deemed the club’s extension bids unsatisfactory.
With the well-documented financial problems continuing to torment president Joan Laporta, the Catalans were hopeful of lowering the winger’s wages.
However, they have discovered that Dembele has no intention of pledging his future to the Blaugrana colours unless his staggering salary demands are met.
Given the ex-Borussia Dortmund man’s proneness to injuries and sporadic appearances during his four-and-a-half-year spell at the club, Barcelona’s idea of dropping his wages is somewhat justifiable.
Head coach Xavi Hernandez has already warned Dembele to either renew his contract or pack his bags, and he could leave Camp Nou this month.
On that basis, where could Dembele go this winter?
The reigning Champions League holders see the Frenchman as an immediate upgrade on their current attacking options.
The Blues have already contacted the player’s camp to understand the feasibility of a permanent switch in the January transfer window (via football.london).
Meanwhile, Liverpool and Man United are long-term admirers of Dembele.
Jurgen Klopp’s affection for the winger is well-known, with the Reds’ need for a new forward amplified by Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Red Devils are also in the market for a new attacker after marquee summer signing Jadon Sancho failed to settle at Old Trafford.
New interim boss Ralf Rangnick has brought United’s stuttering Premier League campaign back on the rails, but a lack of flair and attacking prowess has been the elephant in the room during his brief tenure.
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