Ousmane Dembele‘s contract renewal at Barcelona includes a €50m (£43.6m) release clause, according to a report.
The France international officially became a free agent in the summer after running down his previous terms with the Catalan giants, who tried and failed to force him out of the door in January.
The 25-year-old missed most of the first half of the 2021-22 season due to knee and hamstring injuries – the latest in a long line of physical problems during his time at Camp Nou.
Barcelona attempted to cut Dembele from the ranks for a cut-price fee over the winter, but he ended up staying put and enjoyed a redemption arc in the second half of the season under Xavi.
The attacker only scored two goals in the entire campaign, but he set up 13 more in 21 La Liga matches – no player had more assists in Spain’s top flight last term.
Dembele ultimately agreed to a new deal until 2024 on reduced terms, but according to L’Equipe, a €50m (£43.6m) release clause was also part of the contract.
The report claims that Dembele agreed to forgo a signing-on bonus with his new deal, and his agents also did not receive any commission for their part in his renewal.
Instead, if the Frenchman’s release clause is triggered in the next two years, he will receive 50% of the fee along with his agents, meaning that Barcelona will pocket just €25m (£21.8m).
By adding in a release clause instead of forking out a signing-on bonus and commission, Barcelona can meet Dembele’s financial demands without needing to worsen their already-volatile financial situation.
Dembele has faced added competition from Raphinha in Barcelona’s attack this season, but he has remained a regular fixture of Xavi’s starting XI and has posted a respectable set of numbers.
The former Borussia Dortmund man has registered two goals and four assists from eight appearances in all competitions and has only failed to make the starting lineup against Cadiz on October 10.
Dembele has now accrued a total of 34 goals and 38 assists in 158 games for Barcelona since his £112m switch from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, winning two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and the Supercopa de Espana in that time.
The attacker’s revival in 2022 earned him a recall to the France squad for September’s Nations League fixtures, and he is in line to make his first appearance for Les Bleus in 15 months during the international break.
Dembele has not turned out for Didier Deschamps‘s side since Euro 2020, during which he suffered a serious knee injury against Hungary in the group stage and was forced to withdraw from the team.
France will take on Austria on Thursday night in League A Group 1, and the reigning world and Nations League champions – who are winless in the tournament after four games – will be relegated to League B if they lose to Ralf Rangnick‘s men.