The final talks to decide the future of Ousmane Dembele will not take place this week. The final push in the talks, in one direction or another, will come next week.
But the meeting, still pending a date, is not expected to be very pleasant because both sides are already seeing things very differently.
Barcelona state that the player has already been offered the final proposal and the club are expecting an answer at the meeting, while the agents of the Frenchman are confident of receiving another offer at that meeting. The misunderstandings are back.
Joan Laporta was clear last Monday in an interview on Catalunya Radio. According to the president, Dembele already knows what the club can offer him because he already has the contract in his possession and they are awaiting his final response.
“He wants to stay, but he is very tempted by other options that offer conditions that they may consider better than ours,” Laporta confessed.
“The offer was presented some time ago, they have taken a while to respond to us.
“We would have liked to have had an answer sooner, but we can’t force it. We have a good personal relationship with everyone.
“[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang has come, with whom Dembele is very good friends. He has representatives who are in control of the situation, but I hope he stays.”
The difference of opinion in the Dembele situation
But things will start on the wrong foot if the club are walking into the meeting expecting an answer and the player’s agents are hoping for a new offer to be presented.
Those around Dembele, whose contract ends on June 30, believed that the club were waiting for the club to qualify for the Champions League, to finish second in LaLiga Santander, to sign a loan and to secure income from sales to have more money to offer.
They are clear in their position that they are awaiting a proposal to analyse.
So, despite the obvious improvements in the talks between the two parties in recent months, things have taken a step backwards once more.
Dembele has told the dressing room that he wants to continue at the club, and Xavi Hernandez wants him to stay as well. But, until now, the two parties have been unable to understand each other.