Barcelona director Mateu Alemany has revealed that the club intends to sell winger Ousmane Dembele before the end of the January transfer window.
Dembele is on course to be out of contract at the end of the season, meaning he could leave as a free agent – he is already permitted to enter talks with other clubs since entering the final six months of his current deal at the start of January.
The Frenchman has been dissatisfied with existing offers of a new contract, leaving Barça with little choice if they don’t want to see their €145m investment walk away for nothing.
Alemany had already warned earlier this month that Dembele should decide his future ‘quickly’ and the clubs aren't prepared to wait now that they have claimed he doesn’t want to stay.
“It’s clear that Dembele does not want to continue with Barcelona,” the director explained.
“He doesn’t want to be part of our project. We told Dembele he has to leave immediately. We expect Ousmane to be sold before 31 January.”
Barcelona won the race to sign Dembele from Borussia Dortmund when he was just 20. The club had only recently sold Neymar for a world record fee of €222m and had soon heavily reinvested that sum into the market themselves.
However, Dembele’s Camp Nou career has been full of ups and downs. Flashes of brilliance have been mixed with frustrating injury layoffs that have dogged his four and a half years in Spain.
90min confirmed at the end of December that Dembele had made it clear to Barcelona that he wouldn’t be signing a new contract if they are not prepared to meet his wage demands. The player’s camp have been asking to increase his existing salary that is already north of €240,000 per week.
Addressing the situation earlier this week, his agent, Moussa Sissoko, said: “Yes, we have high demands, but we’ve shown in the past that Ousmane’s career choices are not dictated by money, else he wouldn’t be [at Barcelona].
“Then, if Barcelona wanted to negotiate, they could have come to the table with us to talk. Except there are no discussions and there are threats coming from them that he won’t play. That’s not allowed. We will exercise Ousmane Dembele’s rights if necessary.”