Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has finally reached a decision on his future following months on speculation over a potential exit at the Spanish giants.
The French forward, 24, is in the final year of his contract at the Camp Nou. Barcelona are in desperately short supply of proven firepower at present. Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann departed in the summer. The recent retirement of Sergio Aguero deprived them of yet more strike power in the final third.
As such, the potential January exit of Dembele had become a major talking point for Barcelona and new boss Xavi.
Come January 1, Dembele will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs ahead of a summer switch. Alternatively, a suitor could propose a January transfer to beat rivals to his signature.
England’s elite had all been chasing Dembele over the last few months. Liverpool’s interest made the most sense with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane facing up to a month away on AFCON duty.
Manchester United and Tottenham have also been touted as potential suitors in recent weeks.
However, Barcelona’s intention was to always tie down Dembele to a new deal.
Xavi has made no secret of his admiration for the player, regularly talking him up in his media conferences.
“I feel positive with him again,” said Xavi (via BarcaUniversal).
“Ousmane says that he wants to continue, that he is happy here.
“It is a matter of agreeing with his representative. He knows about the importance he will have if he stays.”
Xavi words take effect with Dembele
Now it seems those words have finally convinced Dembele to stay.
As per Footmercato via Sport, Dembele is ready to commit to a new two-year deal that will keep him at Barca until 2024.
He is likely to sign for a salary less than the one he penned when first arriving from Borussia Dortmund. That is in keeping with several other Barcelona stars and amid their financial struggles.
All said and done, he’s now likely to be given a leading role in Xavi’s side. Furthermore, he will likely get the opportunity to undergo a salary review again in the future if he performs well.
They expect the deal to be signed in the coming days and ahead of the January window.
Dembele’s agent is expected at the club this week to finalise the paperwork with Barcelona. And his extension will bring an end to reports that the World Cup winner will soon move to the Premier League.
Barcelona financials revealed in Cavani swoop
Meanwhile, Barcelona are ready to adjust their approach in order to complete the transfer of Edinson Cavani, according to reports.
Sergio Aguero’s retirement has left Barcelona seeking January reinforcements up front.
Already linked with an exit in the summer, Cavani committed his future until the end of the campaign. But he is one of those to have suffered since the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona look likely to be his salvation, though doubt was recently cast on the chances of the move due to a contractual obstacle. It was claimed that Barca only wanted to offer him terms until the end of the season. Cavani, in contrast, would rather sign up until 2023.
Now, it appears they are finding a middle ground. According to Gerard Romero, Barcelona are now making an 18-month offer to Cavani.
Despite their financial issues, they are able to offer him an annual salary of €3.5m until the end of the current campaign. In addition, he could receive performance bonuses of up to €1m. For the full 2022-23 season, his salary would improve further to €4m plus €1.5m of add-ons.
TyC Sports report that Cavani has clarified Barcelona are his first-choice destination. With that in mind, he has turned down a fresh approach from Boca Juniors, who wanted to take him to Argentina.
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