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Barcelona ‘to hand Ousmane Dembele contract ultimatum’

Barcelona ‘to hand Ousmane Dembele contract ultimatum’

Barcelona are reportedly keen to sign Ousmane Dembele to a new long-term contract.

The 25-year-old actually left the Catalan giants earlier this summer following the expiration of his deal, but he later re-joined the club, signing a contract until June 2024.

Dembele is currently preparing to enter the final 18 months of his agreement with Barcelona, and according to Sport, Xavi‘s side want to sign him to a long-term deal.

However, the report claims that the France international will be warned that he will be made available for transfer if he tries to delay penning a fresh contract.

Barcelona are allegedly not prepared for Dembele to enter the final year of his contract at Camp Nou due to the uncomfortable situation that developed between the two parties earlier this year.

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele celebrates scoring against Inter Milan on October 12, 2022© Reuters

The Frenchman was initially told to leave Camp Nou in January due to his contract situation, but he stayed at the club and managed to work his way back into the side in the second half of the campaign.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus were among the clubs to be credited with an interest in Dembele amid the uncertainty surrounding his future.

The attacker spent around two weeks as a free agent before re-signing for Xavi’s side in the middle of July, but the length of the deal meant that his future was not secured.

Dembele has been a key player for the Catalan outfit this season, featuring on 13 occasions in all competitions, contributing three goals and four assists in the process.

The former Rennes youngster has two goals and two assists in nine La Liga appearances this term, while he has netted once and provided two assists in four Champions League outings.

Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele pictured on September 7, 2022© Reuters

Dembele has now represented Barcelona on 163 occasions in all competitions, contributing 35 goals and 38 assists in the process.

Following last week’s 3-3 draw with Inter Milan in the Champions League, Xavi said that he has “a lot of confidence” in the Frenchman but admitted that he needs to improve his decision making.

“Dembele can make a difference, he is a player who can make a difference, he gives us a lot on the wing and he is fast, I have a lot of confidence in him,” said Barcelona’s head coach.

“Dembele often makes the wrong choice, but it’s not just him. When we get to the final third we have to make better decisions, that’s very difficult for Dembele.”

Barcelona will be bidding to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in Sunday’s El Clasico when they welcome Villarreal to Camp Nou on Thursday night.

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