Reported Newcastle United target Ousmane Dembele has been told by his new Barcelona boss Xavi how important he is to the Catalan giants.
Football journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that the World Cup winner has told his manager that he is happy at Barcelona and that Xavi remains hopeful that the winger will sign a new deal.
What Xavi has said about Dembele
The 24-year-old made a positive impact against Benfica in the crucial midweek Champions League clash, after coming off the bench to play the last 20 minutes.
However, Barcelona’s number seven couldn’t inspire his side to victory and they drew 0-0 against the Portuguese side at the Nou Camp, which leaves them on the cusp of failing to qualify for the last-16.
Dembele is yet to make his first La Liga appearance of the season, but that could come at the weekend against Villarreal.
Newcastle United interest
With his contract expiring in June, Dembele and his representatives will be able to discuss terms regarding a free transfer in the summer with European clubs, as early as the New Year.
Foot Mercato claimed last month that the Magpies had opened talks to sign the star.
Goal also said that Dembele would be open to a move to St. James’ Park.
For all of his explosive talent and pace, Dembele’s injury record means that signing him on massive wages presents a big risk.
But if there is one club in the world that can risk splashing out incredible wages, it’s Newcastle’s Saudi-led owned PIF consortium.
In the 120 games that Dembele has played for Barcelona, he has scored 30 goals and made 21 assists (Transfermarkt).
There is no denying when he is fit, he usually comes up with the goods.
Could Dembele join Newcastle?
If Newcastle beat the drop, then becoming the club’s blockbuster signing to announce the starting of a new era could appeal to Dembele.
But his injury record indicates that Eddie Howe and the club’s new owners should tread carefully when considering whether to pursue Dembele or not.
However, if the 27-cap French international signs a new deal and commits to Barcelona, the chances of Dembele donning the black and white at St James’ Park becomes increasingly slimmer.
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