Ousmane Dembele is surplus to requirements at Barcelona with La Liga club telling the Frenchman he should look at suitable alternatives, in spite of the player's desire to remain at the Nou Camp
Thursday 27 January 2022 18:00, UK
Barcelona have again told Ousmane Dembele to find another club before the transfer deadline despite the player's wish to stay.
Dembele's representatives Moussa Sissoko and Marco Lichtsteiner have met with Barca boss Xavi and technical director Jordi Cruyff for further talks over his future.
His agents reinforced the message that Dembele wants to play for Barcelona at least until the end of his contract and is 100 per cent committed to the cause.
He is also willing to extend his contract, which expires in the summer, but not on the current terms that have been offered, which includes a considerable pay cut.
But Barca said again that, if he will not sign the deal already offered, then he must find another club to buy him - and they will help him to do it.
It remains to be seen, however, who can afford him in the current market. Paris Saint-Germain and a handful of the biggest Premier League teams are the only ones that can pay his wages.
The likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City do not appear to be in the market for a player of his profile this month, making it increasingly likely he will remain at the Nou Camp on February 1.
Dembele has been told he will not play if he does not sign the terms on offer - and he has missed the last two matchday squads - but Xavi is said to be ready to use him if he remains at the club.
Barca want to bring in other players and have an interest in their former academy winger Adama Traore - a target for Tottenham - but they are currently unable to register any new players until others leave.
This situation has also made it unlikely Alvaro Morata will be able to cut his loan at Juventus short from Atletico Madrid and join Barca for the rest of the season, which he is said to be keen to do.
Barcelona have also held talks with another Spurs target, Franck Kessie, about a pre-contract agreement for the summer but nothing has been agreed with the player, contrary to some reports this week.
Dembele said last week he will "not give in to blackmail" after the club told the Frenchman he must leave in the January transfer window.
The 24-year-old said on Instagram: "As of today, I'm going to answer honestly without giving in to any form of blackmail.
"I forbid people from thinking that I'm not committed to this sporting project. I forbid people from attributing intentions to me that I've never had.
"I forbid people from speaking for me or my agent, who I have total confidence in. I'm still under contract, I'm fully committed and at the disposal of the club and my coach.
"I've always given everything for my team-mates and also for all the fans. That's not going to change now. I'm not a man who cheats and even less so one who's used to giving in to blackmail. Love can certainly be a variant of blackmail."
Who will be on the move in January?
The January transfer window opens on Saturday January 1, 2022 and closes at 11pm on Monday January 31.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.