Analysis: Amid Premier League interest, how important is Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona?

It promises to be a busy transfer window at Barcelona this summer. As they need to reduce their wage bill by €200m to comply with La Liga regulations ahead of next season, significant departures are extremely likely.

Despite this, Barcelona want to improve Xavi Hernandez’s squad, and incomings will be targeted, specifically in defence and attack. As such, there is a possibility that additional outgoings will be required in order to balance the books.

Due to their situation, much of Barcelona’s first team squad will be available for transfer at the right price, with just five players considered to be “non-transferable”, being Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Pedri, Gavi and Robert Lewandowski.

Ousmane Dembele is not among those, despite his excellent form this season, although club officials are still desperate to keep him. His current contract at Barcelona expires at the end of the next season, and talks are planned for the near future to tie the 25-year-old down to a long term deal.

However, clubs in the Premier League are alert to his situation, as per Fichajes. Namely, Chelsea, Manchester United and Newcastle United are looking into the possibly of signing Dembele, who was pictured in England on Wednesday, should be fail to sign a new contract before the summer.

Dembele’s release clause, which currently sits at €100m, will drop to €50m when he enters the final year of his contract, and the vultures could circle if that does come to fruition.

€50m would be valuable income for Barcelona this summer, but there’s certainly an argument to suggest that keeping Dembele would be the better option. Although he is injured at present, the French international has been in sensational form this season, and has particularly linked up well with Robert Lewandowski.

Although Raphinha has filled in effectively on the right in Dembele’s absence, he has failed to achieve the same sort of connection with Lewandowski as Dembele has. As a result, the Polish striker’s form has suffered while his French teammate has been injured.

There’s little doubt that Dembele will return to being first choice when he does return from injury, and Barcelona will be better for it as a result. His creativity is among the best players in La Liga, while allows others to thrive around him.

It’s easy to forget that Dembele is still only 25, considering he’s been at Barcelona since 2017. A combination of form and fitness has affected his spell in Catalonia so far, but he’s been on to a winner since Xavi took the reins in November 2021.

Dembele is absolutely indispensable for Barcelona this summer, and their priority should be tying him down to a new contract in the coming weeks. His sale would be a huge blow as they look to re-establish themselves among Europe’s best.

Tags Barcelona Chelsea Ferran Torres Manchester United Newcastle United Ousmane Dembele Raphinha
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