Ousmane Dembele will not be renewing his Barcelona contract beyond this summer after negotiations between the two parties broke down.
The French winger joined the club in a €145m deal from Borussia Dortmund to replace Neymar when he left for Paris Saint-Germain back in 2017, but he has suffered hugely with injuries ever since.
In fact, Dembele has featured just 126 times for the club in four-and-a-half years, scoring 30 times.
The 24-year-old’s contract is due to expire in the summer and Barcelona had been confident that they would be able to convince him to re-sign with the club, with manager Xavi publicly admitting they want to keep him.
However it emerged on Wednesday night that negotiations between the two parties had broken down over wages, with Barcelona claiming they can’t afford his demands.
Dembele’s agent leaked a statement to the press in Spain, where they questioned Barcelona’s claims considering they just signed Ferran Torres in a €55m deal from Man City and are also keen on signing Erling Haaland in the summer from Dortmund for his €75m release clause.
While their statement may be factually correct, the feeling behind it seems more like an excuse than a reason to not re-sign.
Dembele’s injury problems mean he can’t be relied upon for a prolonged period of time and if Barcelona are planning to sign Haaland alongside Torres then they won’t want to waste their wage budget on someone who’s rarely available.
With that said, ‘Dembouz’ is without a doubt one of the most talented wingers in the world when he’s fit and would definitely be a big asset to the club if he were to stay.
Barcelona are right to not be held to ransom by the player, it’s part of the reason they’re in the financial mess they’re in to begin with. But Dembele has every right to feel aggrieved too that Barcelona want to pay others more than him after initially agreeing terms.
All signs point to the end of the road between the two parties now, so it will be very interesting to see if Dembele leaves the club in January so that Barcelona can get some cash for him instead of losing him for nothing.