13/01/2022; 2:47 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
The Catalans are not where they want to be, but they can afford to dream as things are beginning to look up for them. They are closing in on the top four, and based on the strength of how they currently play; it is hard to bet against them making it.
Los Blaugrana have struggled to ship out deadwood for much-needed cash but labour to keep the players they deem valuable. Ousmane Dembele is one player that Barcelona wants to keep, but it is not working as intended.
It seems that Dembele is no longer at Barcelona, at least up there. The French international is poised to be a free agent in the summer, and while Barcelona are keen on retaining his services, it has been an uphill task convincing the young winger that Barcelona is the place for him.
Talks between the club and Dembele have broken down, and Manchester United are waiting in the wings to pounce.
Barcelona have tried to manage the situation, but their actions smack of desperation. After signing Ferran Torres for £46 million, with add-ons that could take the deal to £54 million, Barcelona had to agree on a long term deal with Umtiti to spread his wages and allow the club room to register Torres.
Umtiti is a defender the club tried to find a new home but have had to go back on that plan. The latest action by Barcelona is an indication that Dembele is on his way out.
Xavi Hernandez recently sounded optimistic about Dembele's future at Barcelona, but that hope is dwindling fast.
Dembele has less than six months left on his contract and could leave Barcelona for free, except they agree on a new deal quickly. The French international joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for £105 million, with the potential of rising to £135 million.
Since he arrived at Camp Nou, Dembele has struggled with his performance limited by injuries. He is a two-footed player that can play on either wing, and his technical ability, speed, and agility make him an asset for any club.
Manchester United had their eyes on the winger, even exploring signing him on loan at the end of the 2020 summer transfer window. The major stumbling block to leaving the Camp Nou is his injury history, wages and lack of a long-term commitment. There were even talks of a swap deal involving Anthony Martial.
According to Cadena Ser, Dembele has already decided on his future, and it seems not to be in Barcelona. Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko claims that money was not the only obstacle to signing a new deal.