FC Barcelona has been busy trying to find a solution to the Ousmane Dembele contract situation, and they have been accused of blackmailing the player and his team. However, La Liga Santander president Javier Tebas has backed the Catalan giants, saying he does not believe they have done anything illegal.
Dembele's current contract expires this summer, and Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez made it clear that he wanted the Frenchman to stay on and be a part of his rebuilding project. While the player himself has expressed his desire to stay, his agent and the club have not been able to find a compromise when it comes to the actual nitty-gritty of the extension deal.
It is believed that Barcelona are offering a long-term contract that includes a pay cut similar to the extension recently signed by Samuel Umtiti. However, after the club signed Ferran Torres from Manchester City earlier this month, Dembele's camp has not been as keen to accept Barcelona's terms.
It is no secret that the club wants to slash the salaries of its high earners in order to make room in the salary cap. However, it has not been easy to get everyone to simply agree to the terms on offer, especially if there are options outside the club. With Dembele available on a free transfer this summer, he has the opportunity to ask for a more lucrative package plus signing on fee from other top European clubs.
The club has threatened to keep the Frenchman off the pitch for the next six months if he refuses to renew, and the player has retaliated by saying that he won't give in to blackmail. The Catalan giants are hoping to offload Dembele if a suitable offer comes, but if it doesn't, they are also considering terminating the player's contract prematurely.
"I don't think Barcelona have done anything illegal," Tebas said, before heaping praise on Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany. He weighed in on the fact that Dembele had been kept out of the squad in recent matches, which the club said was due to a health issue and not because of any underhanded moves. "Knowing Mateu Alemany I believe that to be the case, they have said he didn't train due to gastroenteritis. I wish there were more like Mateu Alemany in football," said Tebas, as quoted by Marca.