Newcastle-linked Ousmane Dembele has been told to leave Barcelona ‘immediately’, having failed to agree a new contract with the club.
The French winger has rarely been out of the headlines this month.
He is out of contract at the end of the season, and fans have been waiting to see if he’ll agree a new deal at the Nou Camp.
But it seems the player’s wage demands have been too high.
Fabrizio Romano this morning brings quotes from Barcelona director Mateu Alemany.
It sounds as though Dembele will now categorically not be extending with the Spanish heavyweights.
He said: “It’s clear that Dembélé does not want to continue with Barcelona. He doesn’t want to be part of our project.
“We told Dembélé he has to leave immediately. We expect Ousmane to be sold before Jan 31.”
These comments from Alemany came after manager Xavi had given Dembele a public ultimatum.
A report from Mundo Deportivo earlier this week said that Newcastle are willing to ‘invest to make a big leap’.
It now remains to be seen if the Magpies new owners will make a play for the 24-year-old.
Any Ousmane Dembele move would be a massive risk from Newcastle, as he’s told to leave Barcelona
The new owners might be very tempted by Dembele. He is obviously a very talented player.
But he is someone that undoubtedly comes with a lot of baggage.
He has been dogged by injuries during his time at Barcelona. There have also been question marks in the past over the player’s professionalism. France Didier Deschamps was left irk by the player’s tendency to be late a few years back (via AS).
Dembele’s wage demands are ultimately the reason he isn’t extending at Barca. So it’s likely he’ll be after a big pay day from another club.
Newcastle could probably arrange that for him, but that then puts him under big pressure to perform consistently.
And that’s exactly what Newcastle would need from him in a relegation battle.