Although Barcelona continue to edge closer to winning major honours this season, reports claim that one player is at risk of being axed this summer.
The Catalan giants took another step closer to winning the La Liga title at the weekend with their win over Leganes, while they have a Copa del Rey final to look forward to next month and hold a healthy 4-1 lead over Roma in their Champions League quarter-final tie.
In turn, those are plenty of reasons to be happy with the way things are going this season, but one problematic element remains and that’s the form of Ousmane Dembele.
Barcelona splashed out a whopping £135.5m (€140m) on the French international last summer, as per BBC Sport, but he simply hasn’t been able to replicate his form at Borussia Dortmund, scoring just one goal and providing six assists in 15 games as he’s also been blighted by injuries.
In turn, according to Diario Gol, as re-reported by The Express, Lionel Messi has been made aware of the fact that Barca are looking to ship the 20-year-old out, but with their analysis of the market suggesting that they may only get around €50m-€60m, they could be set to take a huge hit.
Arsenal are specifically named in the report as being an interested party, but it will split opinion on whether or not Barcelona should simply cut their losses at the first available opportunity.
There is no denying that Dembele has struggled to fit into the team’s style of play and be an effective and decisive figure for Ernesto Valverde’s side this season.
With that in mind, it could be more sensible to get what they can this summer rather than risk seeing his valuation plummet any further.
In contrast, Dembele is still just 20 years of age. He has joined a huge club and is evidently struggling to settle and adjust to a new league, new team and new environment.
Perhaps he should be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to have another season to prove his worth, but with Barcelona hunting down major trophies each season, time and patience may not be on his side.