Barcelona are looking to advance their negotiations over a new contract for Ousmane Dembele, as they believe they have the advantage currently.
Dembele remained at Barcelona against all the odds, finally accepting a two-year deal once his previous contract had already expired this past summer. The two entities had been in talks for months, with negotiations being ended on several occasions and Dembele even being publicly asked to leave by Director of Football Mateu Alemany.
However Xavi Hernandez has vouched for Dembele since he arrived at the club, demanding his continuity be considered by the club. Once again, negotiations are on the horizon, as he will have just 12 months left on his deal next summer. The Blaugrana will want to avoid a similar situation to that which played out last season, and ensure they recoup some money for him if he does leave.
As per Sport, Barcelona will bring forward contract talks to February. The club know that following a disappointing World Cup from Dembele, in particular being hooked after 40 minutes in the final, there is little interest in him currently. Barcelona want to take advantage of that fact by starting talks after the January transfer window instead of at the end of the season, when they had initially planned to.
The theory of this strategy checks out, yet Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko has shown himself willing to wait for other others down to the last minute. While a deal was worked out last time, tensions were high for much of last season and any talks will be complicated.