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Barcelona’s treatment of Dembele has come under fire as his representative argues his new deal is not just financial in nature amid Chelsea transfer speculation

Ousmane Dembele’s future at Barcelona remains a point of contention, with the forward’s representative addressing contract negotiations while expressing reservations over the club’s recent use of the France international.

The World Cup champion is nearing the end of his current contract at Camp Nou and will become a free agent in the summer unless an extension is reached.

The negotiations have dragged on for some time, with no agreement reached, and Dembele’s representative has indicated that extra assistance from club management is being sought following the brilliant 24-year-hastened old’s return to the team following a case of coronavirus.

“Everyone speaks about money,” Moussa Sissoko, who controls Dembele’s career, told L’Equipe of a long-running controversy in Catalunya. However, it is not only about the money for us.

“Also, daily management with the player is critical. How is he able to play immediately after receiving Covid without even training?”

In late December, the forward failed a Covid-19 test, forcing him to miss Barcelona’s opening match of 2022 while serving a term of self-isolation.

Dembele was then promptly recalled for a Copa del Rey match against Linares, where he scored a key goal in a 2-1 victory after being introduced by Xavi at half-time.

He then started in a 1-1 draw with Granada last time out and is now part of the travelling party to Saudi Arabia for a Supercopa de Espana match against Clasico rivals Real Madrid.

While Barcelona are just months away from witnessing a high-profile signing walk away for free, negotiations over new terms continue.

Xavi is eager for Dembele to stay a part of his long-term plans, with the Blaugrana reportedly close to agreeing on a fee that would satisfy those demanding a proven performance.

Numerous teams outside of Spain, though, are reported to be closely monitoring events.

Dembele has been widely connected with a transfer to England for some years, most recently with Manchester United, and there has been speculation of interest from Chelsea — with Blues coach Thomas Tuchel previously working with him at Borussia Dortmund.

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