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Barcelona board 'divided on approach to Ousmane Dembele situation'

Barcelona board 'divided on approach to Dembele situation'
© Reuters
Barcelona's board are divided on the approach that should be taken to Ousmane Dembele's situation, according to a report.

Barcelona's board are reportedly divided on the approach that should be taken to Ousmane Dembele's situation at the club, with the attacker now officially a free agent.

Dembele's contract at Camp Nou expired on June 30, with the France international refusing to sign the fresh deal that had been placed on the table by the Catalan giants.

Barcelona boss Xavi is said to be desperate to keep hold of the World Cup winner, but according to journalist Ben Jacobs, the attacker wants double the €6m (£5.2m) salary that has been offered.

Jacobs claims that Dembele has still not officially rejected the Catalan outfit, but the club could decide to withdraw their offer if he does not make a decision soon.

Meanwhile, it is alleged that the board at Camp Nou are divided on the best approach, with a number of other clubs keeping a close eye on his situation.

Ousmane Dembele in action for Barcelona in April 2022© Reuters

Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are reportedly the only serious contenders for Dembele at this stage, but the 25-year-old's agent Moussa Sissoko is yet to receive an offer from either club.

Chelsea are allegedly also unprepared to meet the player's salary demands, meaning that he will have to drop his expectations in order to either stay at Barcelona or move to Stamford Bridge.

Dembele enjoyed a productive 2021-22 campaign for his Catalan side despite some injury problems, scoring twice and providing 13 assists in 32 appearances in all competitions.

Meanwhile, the attacker has scored 32 goals and registered 34 assists in 149 appearances for his current side since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017.

Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester United and Juventus have also previously been linked with his services, but it is believed that none of the four clubs are interested at this stage.

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

"Ousmane Dembele's future remains open and we are not going to enter into endless speculation," Football Espana recently quoted his agent Moussa Sissoko as saying.

"We are and have always been very respectful of all the clubs and we will continue in the same way as long as the process continues. When the time is right to make a decision, Ousmane will consider what is the best option for the future."

Chelsea allegedly told the attacker's agent that they would revisit the situation once his contract had officially expired, but his wage demands remain an issue at this stage.

Dembele was initially told to leave Barcelona in January after refusing to sign a new deal, but he managed to work his way back into the side in the second half of the campaign and is still believed to have a strong relationship with the club's head coach Xavi despite the contract saga.

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Ousmane Dembele in action for Barcelona in February 2022
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