‘Can’t wait anymore’: Manager suggests he’s open to selling his £135m player, after claims Chelsea have made their move
Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has seemingly opened the door for Ousmane Dembele to leave amidst reported Chelsea intrigue.
Speaking in his press conference earlier today, Xavi admitted that he wanted the Frenchman’s contract saga to end soon, either by renewing his stay or possibly leaving the Camp Nou.
What is happening with Dembele?
Dembele’s deal with the Spanish side runs out in June, meaning he will become a free agent over the summer.
Barca want to keep the player they spent £135.5m (BBC) on nearly half a decade ago, a price tag he is yet to justify.
However, the 24-year-old has been putting off the club’s approaches over an extension for some time.
He will be fully aware that the Catalonian employers will not be able to replicate his £287,000-a-week (Salary Sport) wage due to their undesirable financial situation.
Plus, the attention from the Premier League must be extremely hard to ignore.
According to Foot Mercato, Chelsea have already conversed with Dembele’s people about a potential move to Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel managed the light-footed forward at Borussia Dortmund before he set sail for La Liga, therefore the transfer would probably get his blessing.
Xavi lifts the lid
All of the signs are pointing toward the exit door for the wide-man who has made just 11 appearances this season.
“The situation is complex, it’s difficult. The club has made the decision that if he doesn’t renew his contract, we need to find a solution, one for him, one for us,” said Xavi on Dembele’s delicate position.
“We have waited for a long time; the club’s decision isn’t easy.
“We have been at this for five months now. There have been conversations with the player and his agent and we can’t wait anymore.
“Either he renews his contract, or we look for a solution for the player.”
Is he the right fit for Chelsea?
That solution might well be to hand Dembele over to Chelsea, or another of his English admirers.
At the moment, though, it seems unlikely the Blues will accept Tuchel’s former pupil.
Unless they are planning on selling one of their own expensive attackers, or Dembele fancies playing at wing-back, there just isn’t enough room in the squad for another luxury asset.