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Barcelona's uncertainty with Dembele

Ousmane Dembele is a player that Barcelona are determined to tie down to a new contract, but the Frenchman and his camp have not shown the same desire and that could lead to him departing the club in the January transfer window.

The 24-year-old is in the last year of his deal at Barcelona and can start talking to other clubs from January 1 about signing a pre-contract agreement, with the situation becoming more worrying for the Blaugrana by the day.

Strategy not to renew

Barcelona feared from the start of talks that Dembele may look to run down his contract in order to secure a more lucrative deal elsewhere, with the possibility of a hefty signing-on fee and wages that the club cannot match.

Newcastle United are interested in the French winger and are willing to pay him 15 million euros per season, plus a signing-on fee worth the same value.

Laporta's assessment

Barcelona president Joan Laporta, like new head coach Xavi Hernandez, is keen to see Dembele put pen to paper on a new contract at the Camp Nou, but he admits that things are not progressing as quickly as he would have liked.

"The negotiation process is slower than we would have liked, and we are working on it. I can't say anything specific because we're still in the middle of it," Laporta said at an event on Wednesday, December 1.

"Dembele is a very important player for us and he can give us much more than he has given us, he can be a key player if we manage to keep him. We are still trying to get him to stay.

"The contractual situation is what it is and what we have found, but our challenge is for him to stay."

Offering him to other clubs

Nothing is certain at the moment, which is why Barcelona want to have a contingency plan in place just in case talks break down completely.

Should no agreement be reached, Barcelona would be willing to offer Dembele to other clubs in order to receive a transfer fee, rather than watch him walk out the door for free next summer.

It is worth remembering that, back in the summer of 2017, Barcelona paid 105 million euros plus 40 million euros in add-ons to sign him from Borussia Dortmund.

Another meeting with his agent

Barcelona are planning to sit down with Dembele's agent in the next few days to work out which direction the player is going to go in.

The club have made him an offer in which bonuses are key, and these particularly relate to games played.

The biggest issue that Dembele has faced since joining Barcelona is the amount of time he has missed due to various injuries, as shown by the fact that he has not even been able to play in half of the Blaugrana's games since his arrival.

Bonus for playing matches

Mateu Alemany, Barcelona's football director, has proposed a deal to Dembele and his camp that would see the winger have a relatively low salary, but one which could rise vastly if he played in every game.

However, that offer did not go down well with Dembele, who turned it down. As such, there is now a tug-of-war between the two parties.

Barcelona are trying their best to exert as much pressure as possible on Dembele, with Xavi even highlighting his desire for the Frenchman to stay during his presentation.

"I am very clear that Dembele must stay. In his position as a winger he can be the best player in the world, and we have to help him achieve that. He is a player who can make a difference. His renewal is a priority," said the new Barcelona boss.

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