Ousmane Dembele has just 48 hours to decide on his Barcelona future, as the club considers selling the attacker rather than risk losing him for nothing at the season’s conclusion.
The 24-year-old Frenchman has been in negotiations for a new contract for some weeks and has had a fresh contract offer on the table.
The former Borussia Dortmund attacker is allegedly eager to remain at the Nou Camp but is apprehensive due to the decreased terms of his contract.
Barca are unable to give Dembele an upgraded deal at the moment owing to their salary cap.
Dembele allegedly requested a ‘outrageous’ wage contract costing up to €80 million (£66.9 million).
According to Florian Plettenberg, manager Xavi Hernandez was ‘almost dumbfounded’ when he learned of Dembele’s weekly wage demands of roughly £700,000.
However, Moussa Sissoko, Dembele’s agent, maintained that the deadlock was not caused by financial differences, but rather by Barcelona manager Xavi’s bad management style, which he openly criticized last week.
Dembele originally joined Barcelona in 2017 for £96 million from German club Borussia Dortmund.
Since moving to Spain, the Frenchman has battled to retain health and live up to his expensive price tag, appearing in just 87 La Liga outings with six starts this season.
Dembele’s contract with Barcelona expires at the end of the season and he is already free to sign a pre-contract deal with any team outside of Spain.
According to Mundo Deportivo, he has been given 48 hours to decide on the current contract offer.
If he declines the deal, Barcelona will begin scouting for a replacement during the January transfer window.
There is likely to be considerable interest in the wide forward, who, owing to his two-footed ability, is capable of playing on either flank.
Dembele has previously been linked to a return to Germany, with Bayern Munich thought to be interested, with English teams Chelsea and Tottenham keeping a close eye on his status in Spain.