Things appear to be going from bad to worse for Barcelona as far as Ousmane Dembele’s future at the Camp Nou goes.
The Frenchman still hasn’t committed to a new contract, and the Catalan club seem to have made it perfectly clear what the penalty will be should the player still refuse to sign.
Given the stand-off, which in some way replicates the way in which he left Borussia Dortmund to sign for Barcelona, it’s a wonder that Xavi Hernandez still wants the player in his team.
He has done nothing of note in his entire tenure at Barcelona and injuries continue to blight his career.
Yet Barca had still, up until this point, held out an olive branch for a player they believe to be world class.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the club are now considering the possibility of leaving him in the stands for six months until his contract runs out, unless he signs the deal that has been placed before him and his agent.
Rather than being cowed by it, the player’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, has hit back.
“Barca are losing Dembele on their own,” he told RMC, cited by Mundo Deportivo.
“They cannot use the threat that Dembele will spend six months without playing if he does not renew now.
“It’s a kind of pressure that doesn’t work against people like us and me.”
That could well encourage Liverpool, who, according to ABC and cited by the Liverpool ECHO, are favourites to acquire the player.
Given how together the Reds seem as a unit, having someone like Dembele – who appears to be a divisive presence – in their squad could be a real headache for Jurgen Klopp.
One assumes it rests on just what the German believes Dembele could bring to his squad.