Paris Saint-Germain are assessing the prospect of replacing outgoing superstar Kylian Mbappe with Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele.
While the reigning La Liga holders initially hoped to tie the 26-year-old down to a new contract, their need for cash amid ongoing problems with Financial Fay Play rules could force Joan Laporta’s hand.
Barcelona were planning extension talks with the former Borussia Dortmund winger, yet negotiations have never gathered momentum, casting doubt on the Frenchman’s future in Catalunya.
Dembele is down to the final year of his contract, leaving the Blaugrana with almost no wriggle room as they face a grave risk of losing him on a free transfer in 12 months.
A €100 million release clause will activate on August 1, depriving Barca of any negotiating power – something Laporta is keen to avoid.
Barcelona are ready to open talks with PSG on short notice, although everything still depends on Mbappe, who remains reluctant to join Saudi Pro League powerhouse Al-Hilal.
Despite being offered a blockbuster contract in the Gulf state, the ex-Monaco forward has knocked back the proposal, hoping to finalise his dream of playing for Real Madrid.
Unlike the Saudis, Los Merengues are unwilling to offer Les Parisiens €200m for a player in the last year of his contract.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men would preferably sign Mbappe on a Bosman deal next summer, but Nasser Al-Khelaifi has no intention of losing his most valuable asset for free.
He has already informed Mbappe that the only way for him to stay at the Parc des Princes next season is to commit to new terms, the prospect the lightning-fast forward has no interest in.
But PSG won’t be making a move for Dembele before addressing their wantaway man’s future.
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