Barcelona are in talks with Ousmane Dembele over a new contract, hoping to tie the Frenchman down to a new two-year deal at Camp Nou.
The 24-year-old’s current contract expires at the end of the season, meaning the Blaugrana risk losing him for nothing next summer should they fail to agree terms over an extension.
Sport reports that Barça have now kicked off negotiations with Dembele’s representatives, in the hope of coming to an agreement over a potential two-year deal for the France international.
The Catalan giants are hoping that the winger’s agent will agree to their terms, which would see the pay cut organised by former president Josep Bartomeu remain in place. Failing that, the club are prepared to offer the former Borussia Dortmund star a three-year deal on a slightly improved salary.
Talks were held in July, and the club were confident at the time of convincing Dembele to put pen to paper. They also threatened him with a year in the reserves if he didn’t sign the contract, and negotiations stalled.
Barcelona do not want to lose Dembele in the summer, and they know that time is of the essence in striking a deal, given that the forward could open talks with other clubs from 1 January.
They also know that there is a lot of interest elsewhere, particularly given that Dembele will be a free transfer, meaning clubs won’t have to pay a fee to Barça.
However, they are banking on the French winger repaying the club’s patience and support over the past few years, after he has been forced to spend a lot of time on the treatment table with serious injuries.
In fact, Dembele has yet to make an appearance for Barça this season, after he underwent knee surgery in June, sidelining him for around four months.