A Barcelona star has thrown his hat into the ring for a lucrative transfer to Newcastle United, according to a report.
The man in question is France international Ousmane Dembele. An attacker who has been mentioned as a target for Manchester United and Liverpool down the years after seeing his move to Barcelona go from bad to worse.
Dembele, 24, moved to Barca from Borussia Dortmund for an exorbitant fee in August 2017. The Catalans paid an initial £96.8m, potentially rising to £135.5m. But the attacker has flopped badly and has not played a game this season.
He scored 11 goals in 44 games last season. While his Barca record is 30 goals and 21 assists in 118 games.
Injuries have halted his progress in Spain. And the former Rennes man picked up an injury at Euro 2020. He limped out of France’s draw with Hungary in June and had to undergo surgery.
In September Dembele was pictured by the club working in the gym. And he is expected to make his return later this month after being ruled out for four months.
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Dembele was expected to sign a new contract after Euro 2020, but that has not yet happened. His current deal expires in 2022.
Barca have lodged extension offers with the player’s agent, but they have been ignored.
The Vernon-born forward is now looking at his options, per the report.
€15m signing-on bonus mooted
That has got Newcastle and their new owners interested, and Goal claim Dembele “would be open to a move to Newcastle United”.
He can speak to foreign clubs from January and could leave for free next July.
French outlet Foot Mercato via The Express suggest contact has already been made between the Premier League side and Dembele’s agent.
Under new ownership, Newcastle are expected to spend on new players in January and next summer. The £300m takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has installed the Magpies as the world’s richest club.
The deal Dembele is reportedly looking at is €15m-a-year, over five years with a €15m signing-on bonus. However, he will only sign if the Magpies retain their Premier League status this season.