The Ousmane Dembele-Barcelona contract saga is reaching its conclusion, with a decision expected in the next 48 hours. The Catalan club remains the only realistic option at the moment, after Chelsea cooled their interest at least until the Frenchman becomes a free agent.

Xavi Hernandez is desperate for Barcelona to keep Dembele at the Camp Nou, but the club is not ready to improve the terms currently on offer. Dembele is keen to stay with his current employers, but his agent Moussa Sissoko wants the club to make an improved offer.

The 25-year-old winger's current deal will expire at midnight on June 30, before which a decision is expected. Barcelona will hold further meetings with Dembele and his agent in the coming days in order to reach an agreement, with the club confident he will re-sign.

Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembele Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

A number of outlets reported that Barcelona had made a renewed offer to Dembele on Monday, but according to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, that was not the case. The Spanish giants are struggling under the Financial Fairplay (FFP) regulations, and have their hands tied with regards to the wages they can offer.

"No final bid made in today's meeting between Barça board and Dembele agent - Ousmane's decision will be this week," Romano wrote. "Dembele's camp rules out extending the contract unless an improved offer is placed, while Barça will take some time to analyse if they have room with FFP."

Dembele's agent, Sissoko, is trying to drum up interest from other clubs to hold as leverage over Barcelona. However, the 2018 World Cup winner has failed to generate concrete interest from top clubs across Europe.

Chelsea were thought be the frontrunners for his signature, but the Blues will only make a move if the player enters free agency. Moreover, the Premier League club made it clear that they will not meet the France international's wage demands even if they opt to sign him this summer.

The lack of interest could see Dembele accept the offer on the table from Barcelona, especially since he already has the backing of Xavi. The Spanish coach sees him as an integral member of his starting XI, and continues to hope that the club could reach an agreement before the June 30 deadline.

Newly-appointed Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez (right) alongside club president Joan Laporta at Camp Nou on Monday. LLUIS GENE/AFP