Ousmane Dembele has made it clear to Barcelona that he will only consider signing a new contract if the club offers him the salary increase he is looking for, 90min can confirm.
Yttern’s latest round of contract negotiations broke down on Wednesday and Barcelona now expect him to start negotiating with sides across the continent when the transfer window opens in January.
The stumbling block in these negotiations has been wages. Dembele earns over £ 200,000 a week and is looking for a pay rise, but sources have confirmed for 90min that Barcelona are not prepared to offer it.
Instead, they try to persuade Dembele to take a pay cut in line with the rest of the squad, but his representatives have been confused by the club’s £ 55m capture of Ferran Torres and the costly pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, while claiming they can not meet Dembele’s requirement.
A line of communication between Barcelona and Dembele is still open, but his agents are talking to clubs from all over the world and have received enough interest to make them willing to leave Camp Nou if needed.
Although the 24-year-old is not a top target for most of these suitors, Europe’s elite realize that the chance to recruit a player of Dembele’s caliber on a free transfer does not come often and most are ready to move when the chance arises.
In England, Dembele has received interest from Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, while Newcastle United have also registered their intention to sign him if they can avoid relegation from the Premier League.
There is also significant competition from the European mainland. Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain are all keeping a close eye on the situation, while several Turkish teams have also thrown their hats in the ring.
In addition to Atletico, all these sides will be free to enter into formal negotiations with Dembele on 1 January.
Barcelona are now facing the difficult decision of whether to keep Dembele for the rest of the campaign and lose him for free, or sell him in January for a huge loss of the £ 135.5 million they paid to sign him in 2017.
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