Barcelona concerned at Ousmane Dembele transfer plan as Man Utd and Arsenal circle
Barcelona are reportedly worried that Ousmane Dembele will see out his contract and leave the club for nothing. Dembele’s contract at Barca expires in the summer of 2022. And the Frenchman is so far reluctant to pen a new deal at the Nou Camp.
Dembele was targeted by Manchester United during the summer transfer window as an alternative to Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.
Dembele chose against leaving the club on loan because Barca would only sanction a move if the winger extended his contract.
The 23-year-old has been hampered by injury problems since his arrival from Dortmund in 2017.
He missed 10 months of action due to muscle and hamstring injuries before returning in late September.
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Spanish outlet Sport say Barca were keen on selling Dembele in the summer but he was determined to stay at the club.
And now Barca fear they may end up losing Dembele for nothing, with him able to speak to foreign clubs over a free transfer in 14 months’ time.
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Earlier this week, Sport explained how United still hold an interest in Dembele.
They also said Arsenal are keen on taking him to the Emirates.
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Speaking in September, Spanish football expert Sid Lowe admitted Dembele’s lack of football in recent years may put off potential suitors.
But Lowe insisted the player’s talent alone meant a transfer was a risk worth taking.
“I think a club like United, who look at a player like Dembele, may well look at the fact that in three years at Barcelona he hasn’t had the chance with any consistency to really make an impact,” Lowe told ESPN FC.
“But on those occasions when he’s been fit, he has had a relatively significant contribution.
“There have been moments where you watch him play and think ‘this guy is absolutely brilliant’.
“The natural talent is there without any doubt and I think any club looking at him, if they think they can get him cheap, would at least think ‘this might be risky, but it’s possibly a risk worth taking’.
“Because in terms of talent, in terms of the speed of movement, the ability to play on both wings, the fact that he’s two-footed, that he scores a reasonable amount of goals, and if you look at his goals-per-minute ratio at Barcelona it’s actually really quite good.
“I can understand why a team would think ‘actually, yeah, let’s give this a go’.”
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