Juventus and Newcastle United have reportedly started talks with the agents of Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele ahead of a potential free transfer next summer.

According to SPORT, a very alarming situation is developing at Camp Nou regarding the future of Frenchman Ousmane Dembele. Barcelona are said to be aware of the fact that the agents of the French winger have allegedly initiated contacts with Juventus and Newcastle United.

The 24-year-old has entered the final eight months of his deal at Camp Nou, which runs until June 2022. Barcelona have been desperate to tie their star man to a new contract at lower wages due to the club’s crippling financial situation. But a renewal is seemingly not an option for the player’s representatives, who are prepared to capitalize on his future Bosman availability.

Dembele signed for Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017. The Frenchman was seen as a generational talent and was brought for £121 million as a potential long-term successor to Neymar who had departed for Paris Saint-Germain at the time. However, the French international hasn’t achieved the expected heights so far in his Barca career, having been hampered by injury and fitness issues. Dembele has missed 97 games in his four years at the club owing to recurring injury problems.

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In total, the Rennes academy product has produced 30 goals and 21 assists from 118 appearances for the Catalans. He has portrayed glimpses of potential with his speed, flair and trickery on the ball, offering a threat to opponents but those positives have often been overshadowed by his fitness issues costing the club significantly over the years.

Dembele is yet to feature for Barcelona this campaign after suffering a hamstring injury while representing France at the UEFA Euro 2020. The club have been left in a precarious position where they will have to be prepared to accept a cut-price January sale to recoup some of their initial investment to prevent the winger from walking away on a free transfer next summer.

The Frenchman would be free to hold official talks with overseas clubs in January ahead of a potential move in 2022. Many top clubs across the continent are monitoring the player’s contract situation, including the likes of Tottenham, Juventus and Liverpool. But Newcastle United and Juventus appear to be the leading candidates.

Fresh from the Saudi-led takeover, Newcastle are scouring the transfer market for a statement signing to start their rebuild. The Magpies have tabled a lucrative five-year deal before Dembele’s agent with €15 million-a-year salary and a hefty €15m signing-on bonus to lure the winger to Tyneside.

The move would see Dembele team up with compatriot Allan Saint-Maximin on the opposite flank, and just the sight of them could strike terror into the hearts of most Premier League defences. As for Juventus, they are well-stocked with quality wingers, but Dembele’s versatility can come in handy.

Comfortable on either flank, he also has the know-how to operate in a front-two at Barça with reasonable success, which fits Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri’s 4-4-2 system. Moreover, with the Bianconeri hesitant to offer a new deal to Federico Bernandeschi, getting a renowned talent as Dembele, especially on a free or even for a bargain fee, seems like a no-brainer. Only time will tell whether the 24-year-old secures a move to any of the aforementioned clubs or will end up staying at Barcelona.

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