Ousmane Dembele is reportedly set to end speculation surrounding his future by signing a new two-year deal at Barcelona.
The France international is officially a free agent after his previous Blaugrana deal expired at the end of June, and talks over an extension are yet to bear fruit.
Barcelona publicly announced their desire to offload Dembele in the January transfer window, but the ex-Borussia Dortmund man ultimately stayed put in Catalonia.
Dembele missed a large chunk of the 2021-22 season with injuries but enjoyed a significant revival under Xavi, registering 13 assists in 21 La Liga encounters.
Dembele ended the season as the top playmaker in Spain’s top flight, but he is currently weighing up his options after allowing his Blaugrana deal to run its course.
Xavi has left the door open for Dembele to extend his stay at the club, although president Joan Laporta recently revealed that Barca was yet to hear back from the attacker regarding a renewal.
“He is a person that we appreciate very much,” Mundo Deportivo quotes Laporta as saying. “He has played at a very high level in the second half of the season and the coach is very satisfied with him.
“It is an economic question, he has answered us without saying ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. We maintain a good relationship with the player and there is communication with the agents. If he accepts the conditions that we have presented, he will continue, if not, then no.
“We don’t set deadlines for anything, not for signings, not for levers or anything. Now that we’ve activated the first lever, we’ve released quite a bit of pressure. We are working hard, both for players and levers.”
However, according to Mundo Deportivo – via football.london – Dembele is now on the verge of signing a new two-year deal at Barcelona until the summer of 2024.
The Spanish outlet adds that Dembele has agreed to a 40% pay cut in order to extend his stay at Camp Nou, in spite of his agent Moussa Sissoko holding out for a mammoth salary rise.
The 25-year-old is seemingly set to snub interest from Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain to extend his stay at Barcelona, where he has registered 32 goals and 34 assists in 150 outings for the club in all competitions.
Dembele has won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and one Supercopa de Espana crowns during his time at Barcelona, but the Frenchman has missed a further 102 games through injury or illness.
Chelsea is now expected to step up their pursuits of other attacking targets, and a deal is reportedly close to being agreed with Manchester City for Raheem Sterling, while the battle with Barcelona to sign Raphinha from Leeds United remains on.