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Ousmane Dembele 'performs U-turn on Barcelona future'

Ousmane Dembele 'performs U-turn on Barcelona future'
© Reuters
Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele is keen to find an agreement to sign a new contract at the club, according to a report.

Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele is reportedly hopeful of finding an agreement to stay on at Camp Nou.

The France international has been free to negotiate with foreign clubs since the start of the calendar year after entering the final six months of his existing deal with the Catalans.

Dembele's first half of the 2021-22 season saw him struggle consistently with injuries, and Barcelona attempted to offload the 25-year-old over the winter.

However, the Blaugrana were unable to do so, and Dembele has continued to run down his contract ahead of an anticipated free transfer away from the club at the end of the season.

Dembele has since been given a new lease of life under Xavi, though, leading to suggestions that he could yet extend his time with the Catalan giants.

Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele pictured on January 22, 2022© Reuters

The ex-Borussia Dortmund man has been in discussions with the club over his future, and Sport - via the Daily Mail - claims that he is now keen to pen fresh terms.

The report adds that Dembele and his agent were still left dissatisfied by Barca's recent offer of an extension and will come back with a counter offer within the next few days.

Barca president Joan Laporta recently revealed that an offer was on the table for Dembele, but the attacker is "tempted" by the prospect of a move elsewhere.

Speaking to Catalunya Radio, the 59-year-old said: "The offer was presented a long time ago and they have taken time to answer us.

"We cannot force anything because this depends on two parties. I believe that he will stay, but he is tempted by other options that he could believe are superior."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta during the press conference on February 1, 2022© Reuters

Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are thought to be the two frontrunners to sign Dembele as a free agent in the summer transfer window, while Chelsea have also been linked.

Dembele has scored one goal and set up 13 more in 20 La Liga appearances for Barcelona this season, although he was an unused substitute in last weekend's draw with Getafe.

The Frenchman currently leads the way in assists in the 2021-22 La Liga season - one clear of Karim Benzema's 12, while Vinicius Junior, Iker Muniain and Jordi Alba have 10 each.

The £126m man has totalled 149 appearances for Barcelona since making the move from Dortmund in 2017, providing 32 goals and 34 assists over the past five years.

Dembele has been a part of two La Liga-winning sides and two Copa del Rey triumphs with Barcelona, who finish their season against Villarreal on Sunday evening.

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Ousmane Dembele in action for Barcelona in February 2022
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