La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are reportedly ready to intensify the talks with Ousmane Dembele over a new contract.

According to a report by Spanish outlet SPORT, Barcelona will soon advance talks with Ousmane Dembele over a new contract. The Blaugrana will approach the French international in February instead of waiting until the end of the season. This way, they want to avoid any entanglement with a prospective suitor.

Ousmane Dembele has stabilised a stuttering career since Xavi Hernandez took charge of FC Barcelona last year. The 25-year-old had blown hot and cold after arriving from Borussia Dortmund five and a half years ago. In addition, fitness woes and attitude issues had hampered the player.

But Dembele, who considered leaving Barcelona as a free agent this time last year, went from strength to strength in the second half of the 2021/22 season. And with Xavi supporting him against jeering Barcelona fans, the Blaugrana saw his head turning. And while the Frenchman briefly became a free agent in the summer, he signed a new contract in July.

But the 2022 FIFA World Cup finalist only signed a two-year contract with a meagre release clause. And widespread reports have suggested that interested clubs can prise him away from Barcelona for €50 million. Such a development has captured the attention of long-term suitors like Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

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Recent reports have also linked Liverpool and Tottenham with the French international. So Dembele’s future is again the subject of intense speculation, with his contract running out in 18 months. But Barcelona will look to tie the player to a new long-term contract while doing away with the miserly release clause.

The 25-year-old is enjoying a solid 2022/23 campaign, amassing five goals and seven assists in 20 appearances for Barcelona. And Dembele reached the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with France. Meanwhile, the Catalan giants now wish to advance contract talks with the Frenchman. And instead of waiting until the end of the season, the discussions will begin in February.

Barcelona will look to avoid getting entangled with potential suitors in a battle for his services. And they reckon now is the ideal time to open talks after a sub-par performance in the final by the French international. So it will be interesting to see if Dembele is ready to sign another contract with Barcelona next year.

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