Manchester United and Newcastle United are growing more hopeful over a transfer for Ousmane Dembele following fresh action from Barcelona over his contract, according to a report.
Dembele has had a mixed career at Barcelona so far since his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund. While he has enjoyed strong spells of form such as during last season, injuries have continually hampered his progress.
And with his contract running into its final six months from January, speculation is growing about his future.
Newcastle have already had strong links with a move for the France international. Dembele has also been a target for the Red Devils. TEAMtalk understands, meanwhile, that Liverpool are a third team monitoring his progress.
In any case, he will be free to discuss a move to another club from next month onwards. Barcelona have tried to get an official stay-or-go decision out of Dembele for some time, but negotiations have proved difficult.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca chiefs have now taken action by imposing a final two-week deadline for him to finalise his choice.
Indeed, the club want an official decision by December 15 to give them time to prepare for his potential exit. But right now, Dembele has every intention of staying at Camp Nou and signing a new deal.
It is his agent that is slowing down the talks and causing Barcelona major frustration, the report adds.
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The La Liga side suspect the representative, Moussa Sissoko, of offering his client to the highest bidder. He has also supposedly delayed talks by continually asking for clarification about Dembele’s role at the club.
As such, Barcelona are growing tired and want a final decision from the player and his agent in two weeks.
While the situation has put the Spanish club at unease, Newcastle and Man Utd are growing more hopeful that they can snap Dembele up as a free agent.
Barcelona want Dembele to stay and, for their part, have offered a ‘competitive’ contract in line with others at the club.
Xavi reveals Dembele, Barcelona plan
Barca head coach Xavi has made it clear that he wants the winger to stay.
The manager said last week: “I had an individual chat with him. I made it clear to him how important he was for not only me this season, but for the future.
“It depends on him. Hopefully, he can renew because he’s a player capable of making a difference in the next few years.”
On rumours that Barca could let go of some of their midfielders, Xavi added: “We need them. They’re players who are playing and none of them is for sale at all.”
Man Utd have a number of attacking options at their disposal already. However, Newcastle – who are still searching for their first Premier League win this season – could do with Dembele’s firepower.