Barcelona star’s cut-price release clause emerges after strong Liverpool, Chelsea links

Barcelona players Memphis Depay and Ousmane Dembele

A report from France has detailed how much Liverpool or Chelsea would have to pay to match Ousmane Dembele’s release clause at Barcelona, should they wish to reignite their interest in him.

Liverpool and Chelsea were heavily linked with Dembele as he headed towards the end of his Barcelona contract earlier this year. Liverpool were supposedly after a new winger and had set their sights on the Frenchman as a result.

Chelsea were looking for a similar kind of addition and put themselves at the front of the queue for him. As per Spanish newspaper Marca, Chelsea were in ‘pole position’ to capture Dembele on June 26, with then manager Thomas Tuchel pushing hard for his club to complete a deal.

Despite the rumours of a Premier League switch lasting for several months, Dembele ended up staying at Barcelona. On July 14, Xavi’s side announced his fresh terms, which last until June 2024.

After the renewal was complete, Dembele said: “Today is a very happy day. I’ve had difficult years because of injuries but this is another time. My first option was to stay. It [negotiations] has been long but we are all happy and I can’t wait for the season to start to help.

“The aim is to win titles, the dream is the Champions League and I’m going to give my all to win this title. I’m going to work hard and I hope it’s a very good year for me and for Barca.”

Dembele has had to overcome several injuries while at the Camp Nou, but he is still a huge talent. It would have been intriguing to see how he would have done in the Premier League if a move to Liverpool or Chelsea went ahead this summer.

And there is the possibility a transfer could still go through in a future transfer window. As per the Liverpool Echo, who cite French newspaper L’Equipe, Dembele’s new Barca terms include a surprisingly low release clause.

Ousmane Dembele given low release clause 

While young stars Pedri, Gavi and Ansu Fati have been given massive €1billion (£874m) release clauses when pledging their futures to the Blaugrana, this is not the case for Dembele.

His release clause stands at £42m. While this is still a big fee, it is cut-price compared to the sums necessary to sign Pedri, Gavi or Fati.

Barca know Dembele, 25, still needs to win over the club’s fans. As such, they have refrained from giving him a five-year extension with a pay rise. Instead, the player must prove to Xavi over a long period of time that he can perform at the top level.

Liverpool or Chelsea could have a great opportunity to sign Dembele for a cheap price if he starts to pick up his form.

The wide man’s value will rise astronomically if he begins to get amongst the goals and assists once again. But his release clause will not rise at the same speed, so Liverpool or Chelsea could still land him for £42m.

Meanwhile, Darwin Nunez will prove to a “big hit” for Liverpool in the Premier League because of his action-packed early career, a former Benfica colleague of his believes.