Barcelona’s hopes of landing Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland this summer could hinge on what Ousmane Dembele decides to do next in his career.
One solution could arrive in the shape of Dembele, according to Deportes Cuatro. The Frenchman is out of contract in 2022 which means Barca must look to renew or sell Dembele at the end of the season.
New president Joan Laporta has made Haaland his top priority but will need finances to complete the deal. Selling Dembele, who has been in good form this season after putting his injury troubles behind him, could help fund the transfer. The forward is still only 23, is likely to attract plenty of admirers, and could command a high transfer fee.
There has been speculation Barca could be willing to sell six players to fund a deal for Haaland this summer. Yet the club may find it difficult to offload stars such as Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezman for big sums as they have both struggled to impress at the Camp Nou.
Dembele is one of several players Barca wants to renew this summer. Youngsters Pedri, Ansu Fati, and Ilaix Moriba are also set to be offered new deals and look to have exciting futures ahead of them at the Camp Nou.
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Will Dembele Renew at Barcelona?
Dembele arrived at Barcelona in 2017 but is only finally starting to make a real impact in what is now his fourth season at the club. The Frenchman has been plagued by injury throughout his Camp Nou career but has managed to finally stay fit and enjoy regular football in 2020-21.
The French forward is thinking about staying at Barcelona because he finally feels important at the club under Ronald Koeman but “wants to hear what Barça will offer economically and also what sports project is being considered,” according to Xavier Munoz at Mundo Deportivo.
The report also states Barca sees it as a strategic move to renew Dembele. The club can then either decide to keep hold of the 23-year-old if he continues to shine on the pitch or sell for a good price in the future once clubs have recovered economically from the coronavirus pandemic.
Laporta Talks Up Dembele
Laporta has already offered his thoughts on Dembele in a chat with journalist Gerard Romero on Twitch, as reported by Goal. The new president made it clear that he is a big admirer of the forward.
“I am a huge fan of Dembele. He is in spectacular form and mentally he’s very strong too. These are players that I will try and make sure Barca have for many years,” he said. “I’ve always come out in favor of Ousmane. I think he deserves some special treatment because these genius types of players you have to look after them. I really like watching Dembele doing so well.”
There seems no doubt that Barca will have to offload players if they do want to bring in any big-names this summer, and Laporta certainly has his work cut out ahead of what promises to be another intriguing transfer window for teams across Europe.