Barcelona and Dembele’s contract extension saga is here to stay until the summer. The story now seems to have taken a new turn. The Catalans are planning to extend Dembele on a short-term deal amidst growing interest from Chelsea. The winger rebelled against a contract extension with Barcelona since his lucrative demands were denied to be entertained by the club. Barcelona, enraged by Dembele’s antics showed him the door in January but couldn’t facilitate his exit. However, the Catalans made it clear that Dembele will be sold in the summer, unless he signs the extension on their terms.
Premier League giants Chelsea were put on an alert after the news broke out that Dembele is on sale. The Blues have shown heavy interest in signing Dembele and are reportedly front-runners too. Dembele joined Barcelona in 2017 for a whopping €147 million from Borussia Dortmund. His move hasn’t paid off as he spent majority of his Barcelona career on the sidelines due to injuries. Lately, however, Dembele has started to deliver for the Catalans, but his contract situation has now created a rift.
Short-term extension planned for Dembele amid Chelsea links
Barcelona are reportedly considering options to cut losses on Ousmane Dembele. The club’s sporting director Mateu Alemany ordered Dembele to leave in January so as Barcelona could earn a transfer fee. But a move didn’t go through and Barcelona will now have to lose Dembele on a free transfer. However, to avoid such a situation Barcelona are considering a quick solution. The Catalans are ready to offer Dembele a short-term contract of about two years to restrict his free move. This way Barcelona could at least recover something out of Dembele’s transfer given their investment in the winger.
Regardless of how his situation develops until the summer, Chelsea are optimistic of signing Dembele. Thomas Tuchel has reportedly mentioned that he needs a squad depth as that of Pep Guardiola’s City in order to challenge for the title. Injuries to several first-team players, and lack of their back-ups destroyed Chelsea’s title hopes this season. As a result, Chelsea are ready to support Tuchel in the summer transfer window. The Blues’ manager is keen on a reunion with Dembele after he managed the winger at Dortmund. Tuchel is credited with having played a crucial role in Dembele’s development. Though he managed Dembele for a season only, the winger amassed 21 assists and 10 goals in 49 games under Tuchel.
The short-term contract solution may have come to Barca’s consideration since Dembele’s close ties with Xavi. The winger is reportedly more that happy with the new manager and is enjoying his playing-time under him. Dembele is in a scintillating form right now, having assisted three and scored one in his last two games. Chelsea are ready to nab Dembele in the summer, but his newly-blossomed striking relationship with Xavi could stall their move.