Barcelona are looking to tie down key players to new contracts after struggling to make new additions during the summer transfer window. Apart from wanting to retain them for the long-term, they are also keen to protect their value and keep them from running down their current deals.

Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele are the current focus of the club, with talks underway with representatives of both players. Despite continued talks, both players are yet to sign new deals, and are at different places in their negotiation phase.

Roberto's new deal, according to Sport, is expected to be a formality with terms agreed in principle with the player. He will sign a new deal until the summer of 2024, while also having agreed to take a pay cut to help Barcelona come out of the financial doldrums.

Sergi Roberto
Sergi Roberto is the latest Barcelona player to agree a new deal Getty

The right sided midfielder's agent was at Barcelona's training ground recently to iron out some issues with the contract, but they are not considered to be deal breakers. The negotiations are going to plan and Roberto has no intention of walking away from the Camp Nou. He is keen to earn his place under Koeman and is expected to play a part when Benfica visit on Wednesday.

Dembele, on the other hand, is not close to signing a new deal and is stalling owing to Barcelona's requirement for the player to take a pay cut. The club have been in talks with the forward's representatives since the start of the summer, but are yet to make a breakthrough.

The France international will be out of contract in 2022 and has an opportunity to walk away on a free transfer, which will be a big blow for Barcelona. The Catalan club paid over £100 million for the wide attacker and are hoping to offer him a new deal until 2024.

A separate report from Sport 1 in Germany suggests that the Frenchman is stalling in the hope that he can talk with clubs outside England when the winter transfer window opens in January. The likes of Manchester United and Manchester City have shown interest and will be able to offer him much more than Barcelona.

Dembele's agents are also hoping that talks with other clubs will pressure Barcelona into making a more lucrative offer. The La Liga outfit are not averse to paying him more, but will then insist that the payment is spread over three seasons with the contract offer extending into 2025.

Ousmane Dembele
On the front foot: Ousmane Dembele set France on the way to victory with the opening goal in Kazakhstan FRANCK FIFE/AFP