Despite Xavi Hernandez dropping Ousmane Dembele for Barcelona‘s matches with Athletic Club and Alaves, the Blaugrana have not given up on getting the Frenchman to commit his future to the club.
Dembele‘s agent is in Barcelona and the two parties will negotiate the 24-year-old’s future again in the next few hours, with previous talks having proved fruitless.
Barcelona and Xavi have made clear that Dembele has two options: either he renews his deal or he departs the club before the end of the January transfer window.
The club’s stance
Negotiations with Dembele‘s agent have been going on for more than half a year, as Barcelona have made clear that they want the France international to stay put.
Barcelona have made the best possible offer in terms of wages, taking into account their financial struggles, and Xavi has met with Dembele to stress that he is part of his plans.
Of the 11 games Dembele has played this season, 10 came with Xavi in the dugout, as the Barcelona coach views the forward as one of the best in his position in the world.
President Joan Laporta has participated in the negotiations to express how important Dembele is for the club’s project, but last week Barcelona seemed fed up and decided to drop the Frenchman for the two aforementioned games, despite being fit.
Xavi wants Dembele to renew his contract and has identified Alvaro Morata as his No.1 transfer target. For the time being, no club have come in with a bid for Dembele.
Dembele’s point of view
The Frenchman has expressed his intention to stay at the club, despite his agent demanding whopping figures to put pen to paper on a new deal.
After being dropped in the last two games, Dembele does not seem too willing to stay at Barcelona as he was not pleased by the ultimatum he was given by the club and the pressure they’ve put on him.
His idea, for the time being, is to stay at the Camp Nou until June and then leave as a free agent. This way he could earn a lucrative signing-on fee when he pens his next contract, as several clubs are interested in signing him.
What will happen if he neither renews nor leaves?
The January transfer window draws to a close next Monday night and Barcelona believe that Dembele – and potentially any other players thinking about putting pressure on the club – would be taught a lesson if he is ostracised in the event he doesn’t renew or depart in January.
However, they understand that it would be a huge waste of an important and expensive asset. In any case, this is a scenario that Barcelona do not want to address yet as they are confident that something will change in the next few days.