Barcelona are worried that Ousmane Dembele could leave Camp Nou for free in the summer of 2022, according to reports. The Frenchman has been at the club since moving from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, but never really found his feet at Barcelona.
Dembele found fame at Dortmund in the 2016/17 season, scoring ten times from 49 appearances. He caught the attention of Barcelona, who were on the lookout for a worthy successor for Neymar after he left for Paris Saint-Germain. Dembele certainly had the raw talent that made him the ideal successor to the flamboyant Brazilian.
However, the Frenchman’s start to life at the Camp Nou was hardly ideal. Dembele suffered a hamstring injury within a month of arriving, and was sidelined for four months. He returned in January 2018, was soon ruled out for almost a month due to a muscle tear. Dembele made just 23 appearances in his first season for Barcelona, scoring four goals.
The Frenchman did manage 14 goals from 42 appearances in the 2018/19 season, showing why the Catalans invested so heavily in him. When fit, he can ring fear into the hearts of the most capable of defenders, which is why Barcelona are desperate to ensure he stays.
Ousmane Dembele is unwilling to sign a contract extension at Barcelona
The Frenchman was close to leaving Barcelona in the summer when Manchester United were looking at him as an alternative to Jadon Sancho. However, a move failed to materialize within the stipulated time, with many sources reporting that the Frenchman was unwilling to leave Camp Nou.
It was previously believed that Dembele was keen to stay at Barcelona and fight for his place in the team. He was also eager to impress new manager Ronald Koeman and get his career back on track. However, that seems to have changed now.
Dembele is now reluctant to sign a contract extension with Barcelona, with his current deal set to run out in the summer of 2022. The Frenchman could be free to talk to potential suitors in a little over a year unless the Blaugrana can convince him to put pen to paper on a new deal before that.
Dembele spent the majority of last season on the sidelines due to injury woes, appearing only nine times and scoring once. This season, he already has eight appearances and has found the back of the net twice. If he ends up ignoring Barcelona’s advances, however, there’s a long list of clubs ready to woo him, with Manchester United and Arsenal leading the line.Published 20 Nov 2020, 20:23 IST