Ousmane Dembele”s future at Barcelona is frequently the subject of speculation, but the latest update suggests the fit-again Frenchman could be set to prolong his stay at the Camp Nou.
According to ESPN, Barcelona and Dembele have been in talks “for several weeks” with the 23-year-old about a contract extension. The Catalan giants are “aware Manchester United are still monitoring” the forward but “are confident of getting him to commit to a new long-term deal.”
Dembele is said to be “doing everything asked of him” by coach Ronald Koeman which is why he is being used regularly this season. Barca also want to extend his contract “to protect his value on the transfer market.”
The Frenchman’s current deal expires in 2022 and Barca do not want a player who cost €105 million plus add-ons to be in a position where he can leave the club for free.
Yet any agreement will have to be ratified by the club’s new president. Elections will be held in January and “it will then be up to the incoming president to give the green light to any signings or contract extensions.”
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Dembele Impressing for Barcelona
There’s no doubt that Dembele has impressed for Barcelona in 2020-21 after an injury-ravaged time with the Catalan giants. He missed most of last season but has already made 11 appearances in all competitions in the current campaign.
The 23-year-old also ended up with the armband in the second half of Barcelona’s 3-0 Champions League win over Ferencvaros on Wednesday, a gesture which will surely be appreciated by the youngster.
🇫🇷 𝑪𝒂𝒑𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒆 pic.twitter.com/J3ehFd12x4
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_cat) December 3, 2020
Indeed it’s been in the Champions League where Dembele has shone brightest in 2020-21. He’s scored three goals and produced two assists in just four outings for Barca.
Koeman Happy with Barcelona
Dembele set up Martin Braithwaite for Barcelona’s second on Wednesday and then added his team’s third from the penalty spot. It was a vibrant performance from the visitors that brought praise from manager Ronald Koeman after the match, as reported by Goal.
Dembele is a great player. He is very fast, he plays with both legs and is physically very well. For the coach it is difficult to make decisions when people like Dembele are playing as they are.
There is a lot of competition in attack. You can see that we have a good squad and we have been able to let several players rest. Those who have played have shown that there is competition, and want to play well and create chances.
The Frenchman’s form will offer genuine optimism that he can stay fit and finally make an impact in what is his fourth season at the Camp Nou. There is no doubting Dembele’s quality on the ball, speed or talent but his bad luck with injuries means he has so far failed to live up to his lofty price tag.
There has been plenty of speculation that Barca would be willing to offload Dembele in recent transfer windows, and he came close to a switch to Manchester United in the summer, as reported by AS.
Yet if Dembele can stay fit and continue to impress on the pitch for Barcelona he could ultimately prove to be a key weapon in Koeman’s attack.