Barcelona are reportedly considering a dramatic U-turn on their stance on Ousmane Dembele with the winger's contract set to expire this summer. The Frenchman is expected to move on from the La Liga club as a free agent but the Camp Nou club is now willing to make a last-ditch attempt and offer him another new contract after retracting their previous offer.
Regarded as one of the best talents in world football ahead of his move to Barcelona in 2017, Dembele has struggled to hit the ground running at Camp Nou. Up until recently, the former Borussia Dortmund sensation had had recurrent injury issues that have affected his development and his run in the first team.
However, Xavi's arrival at Barca has done wonders to the confidence of the winger, giving him a turnaround in form. This season, he has managed an impressive return of nine assists in his twelve La Liga appearances and was crucial in recent wins enjoyed by his club on both the continental and domestic front. The contribution of Dembele has caught the eyes of the club's hierarchy who are now willing to go back on their word and secure the service of the forward as per ESPN.
According to multiple reports from the camp of the Catalans, the 24-year-old Frenchman wants to continue at Barcelona and would accept a lower offer from the club in comparison to what other suitors may propose to him and he sees himself as someone capable of leading the new project under Xavi.
Nevertheless, the deal is not expected to go ahead smoothly as the demands of his representatives are not remotely close to what Barcelona are offering. A net salary of around €20m per season with a signing bonus is what Dembele's entourage have been negotiating for him and it looks unlikely that the club will budge to their demands.
Meanwhile, with the future of Dembele still up in the air, Barcelona are said to be on the brink of losing another top talent in Ronald Araujo. The unsung hero from last Sunday's El Clasico win has been in talks with the club for a new contract but no significant headway has been made in addressing his demands.
On Wednesday, Marca reported that the Uruguayan defender had rejected Barcelona's contract proposal for the third time. However, the player's camp revealed via Spanish reporter Gerard Romero that they have not received any new offers from the club. Instead, a definitive meeting has been scheduled with the agent after the international break.
Catalunya-based newspaper SPORT have also stated that Barcelona are willing to walk away should Araújo refuse to accept the readjustments they have made to the renewal proposal they have received. Several reports have indicated that Manchester United are ready to make a swoop for the defender should Barca decide against renewing his contract and have already established contact with the player's representatives.