Barcelona are ready to give Ousmane Dembele an ultimatum if contract talks do not progress in the coming days. The Catalan club are keen to extend the forward’s deal that currently has just under 12 months remaining.
Dembele joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund for an initial fee of £97 million in 2017, with the club expected to pay a further £38 million in add-ons. The France international has struggled with injuries during his time at the Camp Nou, but had a successful spell during the 2020-21 campaign.
The 24-year-old made 44 appearances in all competitions scoring 11 goals and assisting a further five. He was also part of the France squad for the European Championship but had to withdraw midway after suffering a knee injury that will see him sidelined for at least four months.
Barcelona have no intention of letting him leave on a free transfer next summer, and have begun talks with his representatives about an extension. Despite the club being optimistic about tying him down to a new deal, they are yet to make any significant progress in terms of reaching an agreement.
According to French publication Le10 Sport, the Catalan club are not happy about the lack of progress and are ready to throw down an ultimatum. Barcelona are ready to penalise the player and keep him in the stands for the entire 2021-22 campaign if he fails to sign a new deal before he returns from his latest injury.
The La Liga giants have made it clear that they only want players that are fully committed to the club and are therefore ready to penalise the young Frenchman if the contract stalemate continues. Dembele did have interest from clubs in England, with Manchester United and Arsenal linked to the speedy winger in the past.
Barcelona are certain to explore the prospect of offloading him if he does not sign a new contract. It will help the Catalan club not only slash their wage bill, but also generate much needed income to help register other new signings.
However, Dembele’s long-term injury will be a stumbling block with clubs unlikely to want to spend their transfer funds on a player that will not be available for almost half the campaign.