Barcelona has given up trying to extend Ousmane Dembele’s contract and is now actively trying to sell him.
That’s according to a recent report from Spanish outlet Sport, who claims the Catalan giants are desperate to sell the French winger before his contract expires at the end of the season.
Dembele, 24, has been with Barcelona since his blockbuster £126m move from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. He has since gone on to feature in 129 matches, in all competitions, scoring just 31 goals, along the way.
However, following months of unsuccessful contract negotiations, Xavi’s Barcelona is now understood to be so keen to finally offload Dembele that they have offered Man United and Newcastle United the chance to sign the wantaway attacker for just £17m.
Although the Red Devils were heavily linked with a move for the France international 18-months ago, a transfer ultimately failed to materialise after the 20 times league winners opted to bring in Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund instead.
Not only have United recently splashed the cash on attacking talent, but interim manager Ralf Rangnick now faces a huge challenge to save the Red Devils’ season.
With the team’s togetherness rumoured to be fractured behind the scenes, it is hard to imagine Rangnick would advocate a move for an already unsettled player.
Newcastle, on the other hand, is in a far less fortunate position when it comes to declining available European talent.
Speaking recently about his January transfer window plans, manager Eddie Howe (as quoted by the Daily Mail), said: “When the takeover happened there was a lot of excitement at what lay ahead.
“But the immediate needs of the team are very different to that initial expectation.
“It was my job to cut out a lot of the noise and just see what the team needed. That is what I’ve tried to do in our current situation – recruit the right players.”
The newly taken Magpies are fighting for their Premier League lives and have already used the winter market to bring in some fresh faces, including Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid and Chris Wood from Burnley, but landing Dembele, the world’s eighth-most expensive player, would certainly see the Geordies seal a marquee signing.