Liverpool, Newcastle and two other English sides will soon know where they stand after Barcelona set a deadline for a winger being ‘brainwashed’ by his agent, claims a report.
Newcastle are expected to flex their newfound financial muscles once the January window opens. If the desire to spend big wasn’t already there, the lure of staving off relegation through winter window splashes will have stiffened their resolve.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have conducted their business frugally in recent years. Ibrahima Konate was signed for £36m in the summer. Though that fee was more than offset by a plethora of player exits.
While the two clubs’ transfer strategies will likely differ in the coming windows, one player they could converge over is Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele.
The 24-year-old Frenchman is in the final year of his contract at the Camp Nou. TEAMtalk exclusively revealed Liverpool’s interest in a free agent acquisition next summer.
Newcastle could look to usurp that potential deal by sanctioning a cut-price January raid. A recent report also listed Manchester City and Tottenham as interested parties.
They claim Barcelona have set a strict deadline on Dembele in the hopes of resolving his future quickly. Ronald Koeman’s side remain intent on retaining the forward’s services, though are aware their position is weak.
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As such, they have reportedly ‘told him he has one month to accept their latest offer.’
The assumption, therefore, is that if Dembele rejects, a January sale could become a distinct possibility in their last chance to recoup a fee. In that scenario, Newcastle would be the major benefactors with Liverpool believed to prefer a free agent signing only.
The Spanish article relays Barcelona’s concerns over the likelihood of Dembele penning fresh terms.
It’s stated Barcelona believe Dembele’s agent is ‘brainwashing’ his client into thinking a move away is in his best interest. A move to the cash-rich Premier League could see his wages soar. The outlet also note a switch would be of financial benefit to the agent himself.
From Koeman’s perspective, keeping Dembele around is of vital importance. Via Fabrizio Romano, the Dutch manager said: “We want Ousmane Dembélé to stay with us, he is an important player, our goal is for him to renew.
“If he does not, we will have to react in the best possible way. We have not decided our strategy in case he does not renew”
Mundo noted Barcelona plan to approach Dembele ‘directly’ with their contract concerns and bypass the agent. At this stage, the ball appears firmly in Dembele’s court.
Liverpool told of eye-watering Salah demand
Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah is seeking a weekly wage of £500,000 from any new contract he signs at Liverpool, per a report.
Salah recently indicated a desire to spend the rest of his career at Liverpool. However, as things stand, his contract will expire in 2023.
Liverpool have thus outlined his situation as a priority issue to resolve. But given his status as arguably the most in-form player in the world, an extension will not come cheap.
Approaching his 30s, Liverpool must weigh up whether it would be worth investing in Salah for a longer term. But on current form it would seem unreasonable to consider letting him go.
That may play into his hands – or his agent’s – and details have now emerged of what he would be demanding from a new contract.
According to Football Insider, Salah wants half a million pounds every week as part of a new Liverpool contract. It would make him the club’s best-paid player of all time.