Ousmane Dembele may have very well played his last game for the Blaugrana in the recently concluded El Classico. The Frenchman has entered the final six months of his contract and is now free to negotiate a pre-transfer contract with any potential suitor that might approach him.
Dembele is being targeted by Newcastle United, Manchester United and as per some sources, Chelsea. With that said, Barcelona are trying to tie the talented Frenchman to a new contract but their efforts have gone in vain, with the player’s demands proving to be a touch too excessive.
What is the status of negotiations?
Barcelona have offered the 24-year-old a five-year contract with a pay-cut, but the winger is not willing to agree on the financial front. Dembele’s agents seem to have put forward a demand of €200 million gross to be earned across the next five years with a €20 million signing-on bonus for both, the player, and the agent.
With the former La Liga champions’ current financial struggles, it is absurd to think that they would be able to even pay the signing-on bonus to the Frenchman. Moreover, Dembele has spent a touch over two years of his current contract on the sidelines due to injury. Therefore, the club believes that the player should compromise his demands out of respect.
What is the latest update on the contract stand-off?
While Barcelona have not updated their offer when it comes to the financial front, Dembele seems to have finally answered his current club about his decision. Spanish journalist Gerard Romero claims that Dembele has refused to sign the extension with Barcelona and is willing to leave on free next June. With that said, Barcelona are expected to communicate to the player about their intention to withdraw their offer and send the player to the stands for the remainder of the season.
With the World Cup fast approaching, Barca believe that they have the upper hand in the negotiations as the lack of game-time could severely hurt the player’s market value and a place in the France World Cup squad.
Is it a win or a loss for Barcelona?
While there is no denying that Dembele is indeed talented, his injury-prone nature and poor attitude off the pitch have kept him from realizing the potential he once showed, during his days at Borussia Dortmund. In my opinion, Barcelona would be better off without Ousmane Dembele and with Paulo Dybala’s contract negotiations looking shaky with Juventus, Barcelona could find a better alternative in the Argentine. Dybala is also set to become a free agent in June, as it stands, and he could be the like-for-like replacement for Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele’s finishing has remained the same at Barca and has failed to improve in the final third. The gifted winger creates chances but when it comes to finishing, he has let himself and the team down on many occasions. With that said, Barcelona should exit the negotiations and let the winger leave for free or if an offer arrives, this month itself. However, as it stands, the player is not too keen on leaving this month and thus sending him to the stands is the best option for the club. Dembele’s presence in the dressing room could become toxic as he is a player who is not willing to continue at his current club.
A medical student with an avid interest for the game.