Against all prognosis at the end of January, Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele are set to extend their relationship.
The Catalan club had publicly asked the Frenchman to leave the club if he was not going to renew his deal, but Xavi Hernandez’s insistence in both playing him and ensuring there was a place for him at the club have been crucial in Dembele’s continuity.
The contract will be two years long, a specific request of Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko, but also involves a considerable 40% pay cut for the Frenchman.
No doubt Barcelona’s board will see this is an important win, having stood their ground on the matter and been able to secure his signature at a lower price. Manager Xavi Hernandez also gets to keep one of his favoured players too.
Equally, if Barcelona were to bring in Raphinha, who they are negotiating for, it might cause problems with players. In addition to youngsters Ez Abde and Alex Collado, Xavi will have to select two of Dembele, Raphinha, Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay and Ferran Torres if he plays a front three.
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