FC Barcelona

Barcelona officials consider cancelling Ousmane Dembele's contract

Jamie Spencer
Barcelona wanted to sell Ousmane Dembele in January
Barcelona wanted to sell Ousmane Dembele in January / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

Barcelona are thought to be considering terminating Ousmane Dembele’s contract five months early after failing to agree a deal to sell the winger on transfer deadline day.

The Catalans lost their final opportunity to recoup even a small transfer fee for the player in whom they invested up to €145m in 2017 when the January window closed. He is out of contract in the summer and is expected to leave as a free agent after renewal talks previously broke down.

From Barcelona’s perspective, releasing him from his contract now would save them having to pay wages to a player that had already been threatened with being banished to the stands for the remainder of the campaign if he didn’t leave during the transfer window.

Talks with Paris Saint-Germain fell through, while late interest from Tottenham also didn’t yield any sort of agreement. Chelsea were linked but 90min understands that while talks did get underway, it was with a view to Dembele moving to Stamford Bridge for free in the summer – earlier on deadline day, reports in France had suggested that Chelsea would be his preference.

With the window now closed, Mundo Deportivo writes that Barça officials had discussed in a recent meeting ahead of the deadline the possibility of taking ‘drastic measures’ if the situation was left unresolved. That included potentially releasing him from his contract.

A meeting between club officials is set to take place on Tuesday and it is claimed there are ‘voices’ who will be arguing for Dembele’s contract to be cancelled.

AS also carries the story of the meeting, which will be attended by head coach Xavi. He is tipped to be an ally to Dembele, arguing that the player could still be of use to the team and there is no point banishing the Frenchman if he does end up remaining at Camp Nou until the end of his contract.

In the latter report, cancelling Dembele’s contract is presented as the extreme third choice, with the primary scenario that he stays until the summer, but whether as a squad member or frozen out remains to be seen.

The Barça board have precedent when it comes to freezing individuals out. Promising youngster Ilaix Moriba was excluded after he rejected a contract renewal last season, paving the way for his transfer to RB Leipzig. Dembele, however, given his salary, is on a vastly different scale.

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