FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is reportedly keen on convincing Ousmane Dembele to extend his contract with the club. The player is part of the manager's plans for the future, but it has recently been revealed that the contract talks between the player and the club are on the verge of breaking down.

Dembélé's camp has laid down a salary demand that the cash-strapped Catalan club simply can't afford. The winger's contract expires next summer, and Barcelona are desperate to have him sign a new deal to protect his value. Apart from hoping that he could still be an asset on the pitch under Xavi, the Blaugrana do not want to lose a player of his value on a free transfer either.

Dembélé arrived at Barcelona from German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund for over €130 million in 2017. As such, it will be a massive financial blow if he ends up walking out for free at the end of the current season. Not only will Barcelona lose out on the cash, they have not gotten a return on their investment on the pitch either.

Since his arrival, Dembele has had a few moments of brilliance but injures have kept him sidelined for weeks on end. However, his age is working in his favour. At only 24, there are high hopes that he can regain full fitness and prove to be an important player.

However, despite the club and manager's eagerness to hold on to the Frenchman, contract talks have been at a standstill for a long time. Recent talks did not bear fruit either, with things taking a downward turn thanks to the salary issue.

According to Football España, Barcelona simply can't afford to meet the demands.

Barcelona are trying hard to offload valuable players that are surplus to requirements like Philippe Coutinho, but if they are not able to make room in the wage bill by January, they stand to lose Dembele for free.

It is also unlikely that any club will want to pay a fee for Dembele in January, knowing that he is available for free by next summer.

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