Barcelona are willing to listen to offers for winger Ousmane Dembele this summer, according to reports.
The LaLiga side are linked with a move for Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez but will need to raise funds through selling after the club’s finances took a hit during the coronavirus pandemic.
Spanish newspaper Sport claim a number of clubs have shown an interest in the 23-year-old but no firm offer has been made.
This follows reports that Dembele is one of 12 players Barca have put up for sale.
They would possibly need to raise as much as £100million to sign Martinez with Inter demanding a huge fee for their star striker.
Barca reportedly believe Dembele can still become a star at the Nou Camp but are willing to cash-in on the Frenchman who has so far struggled to live up to his potential.
The winger has had several fitness issues since he joined the club three years ago, missing the majority of the 2019-2020 campaign through injury.
He has not made a first-team appearance since November and the emergence of Ansu Fati is said to have overshadowed Dembele’s potential.
Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly interested in the former Borussia Dortmund man while Manchester United have previously been linked.
Dembele has been back in training as Barca prepare for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie with Napoli but he is unlikely to feature, having not yet played under manager Quique Setien.
Barcelona will listen to loan offers for Ousmane Dembele in the summer such is the desire to get him off the wage bill and to stop his value nose-diving, reports Mail.
There is huge confidence at the club in the ability of 20-year-old Francisco Trincao, signed from Braga in January, and 17-year-old Ansu Fati, to push on next season.
If the Portuguese forward hits the ground running and Fati continues to develop then Barcelona feel they can allow Dembele to leave even if he doesn’t immediately bring in a fee.
The club are open to a similar deal to the one that took Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich last summer. Bayern paid around 12m euros (£10.7m) for the one-year loan, plus the player’s wage believed to be around 12m. They had the option of buying him for 120m euros when the season ends.
Barcelona never expected that offer to be taken up but they gambled on his time in Germany being so successful that his value would return the sort of levels it was at when they signed him in January 2018 for £145m.
Barcelona signed Dembele five months before Coutinho. They paid £96million to Borussia Dortmund with an additional £35million in add-on payments. His wages are, like Coutinho’s, around 12m euros and he has since played just eight full 90-minute games in two-and-a-half seasons.
He has suffered 10 injuries since joining the club from Dortmund where he had few fitness problems. Barcelona coach Quique Setien believes if the injury problems can be solved he can recuperate the second biggest signing in Barcelona’s history but the club’s priority is reducing its wage bill in the face of the coronavirus pandemic crisis and the loan option is being seriously considered.
The club feel they have no alternative but to try to set deals in place before the end of this truncated season because of financial pressure created by the interruption of the campaign and the likelihood that they will have no spectators inside the Camp Nou until next year.
The problem will be in finding the right loan club. El Mundo Deportivo speculated on Monday that Juventus had asked after the 23-year-old. And on the same day Diario Sport reported that Paris Saint Germain have an interest.
Both scenarios would be ideal because Barcelona want Juventus midfielder Pjanic and still cling to faint hopes of signing Neymar. But the rumoured interest is likely to be optimistic on Barcelona’s part. Weaving a Dembele loan into either deal would solve some of the club’s problems but both Juventus and PSG will take some convincing even on loan terms to gamble on Dembele turning his career around.
Barcelona’s hopes of landing Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic have been boosted with the Italian club reportedly keen to bring Ousmane Dembele in the other direction.
The 23-year-old has been blighted by injury and loss of form since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund for £138million in 2017.
Those lingering injury issues remain a cause for concern and so Juventus, according to the front page of Monday’s Mundo Deportivo, have asked Barcelona about the potential for a season-long loan with an option-to-buy Dembele as part of the Pjanic negotiations.
Barcelona need sales this summer to raise funds for their top players with Pjanic, Lautaro Martinez and Neymar their three preferred signings.
To get these players, Barcelona are acutely aware of the need to shift some of the big earners who are not meriting their spots in the team.
All in all Dembele has 74 appearances and 19 goals in his Barca career and is believed to be earning around £200,000-a-week.
Juventus’ hopes for a loan move for the Frenchman would appear to suggest they want to see how his body fares under the rigours of Italian football and an option-to-buy would arrive when he has a year left on his deal with Barcelona.
Barcelona boss Quique Setien has reportedly been keen to work with Dembele and maximise his potential.
But with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Ansu Fati and Martin Braithwaite, as well as the pursuit of Inter Milan striker Martinez, Dembele could be used as a crucial bargaining in getting a deal for Pjanic over the line.
Juventus had made Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo the top choice of player they wanted from the Nou Camp for any swap deal.
But reports in Spain reiterate that he does not want to move to Italy and so Barcelona need to find another player of interest to Juventus to keep the deal alive.
Pjanic, 30, is highly-valued by Juventus and they are unlikely to compromise their €60m (£53.6m) valuation despite the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bosnian has been a major success at Juve since arriving from Roma in 2016, winning three Serie A titles and two Italian Cups.
Although there will be question marks surrounding Pjanic’s advancing years, Barca instead see his age as a positive in terms of experience that would be invaluable to the likes of young talent including Riqui Puig.
Barcelona have a genuine dilemma with Ousmane Dembele. No one doubts his incredible ability but injuries and a passive attitude have heled him back at the club. The Frenchman is still recovering from his latest injury and won’t be ready until next season. The club have taken care of him, aware he could be a key player, but they won’t close the door on an exit.
Paris Saint-Germain, in that sense, could be important. The French club want more French players in their squad and are interested in the winger — which could play into Barça’s hands when negotiating for Neymar.
Dembele would be a risky signing. His muscle injuries have been continual and serious. But PSG are convinced he can move on from them. In Paris, they are up to date on his recovery and believe, like Barça, they’re related to his growth. From now on, there’s a belief that things will stabilise and he will able to play more consistently.
He is still young and has a long career ahead of him. PSG wanted to bet on him last summer and his name was on the table in talks for Neymar to bring the cost down. PSG boss, Thomas Tichel, knows him well from his time at Borussia Dortmund and knows that he can get the best from him and help him develop.
In addition, PSG are one of the few clubs that can pay his salary, which is around 10 million euros net per season. Barça are aware of the interest but won’t make any move. Despite reports in France and Italy saying Dembele is on the market. the reality is Barça have not offered him out. It’s about waiting because he will not be fit again until August.
Dembele’s exit won’t be seen as too traumatic if it’s related with Neymar’s return. And, in addition, it would make space for La Masia graduates like Ansu Fati or Alex Volado. In fact, Ansu is already ahead of Dembele and could become a star if he’s given minutes on the pitch. It remains to be seen what PSG will do and if they would be open to swapping for Neymar, who will once again be at the centre of any talks.
Ousmane Dembele wants to stay at Barcelona and finish his contract but according to TMW, the Catalans want to sell him. They want to lower their salary bill and get some money in for him. PSG are a possible destination.
Barca would be willing to sell him for 42 million euros according to the same source. Leonardo, the PSG director, likes the winger.
Barca signed him in 2017 but because of injuries he has not been able to perform as they would have liked. He gets 12 million euros a season.
If Barca decided to loan him instead then various Italian sides would also be interested.