Barcelona are not giving up hope on keeping Ousmane Dembele at the club beyond this summer, despite the breakdown of talks over a new contract late last year. The Catalan club tried to sell the Frenchman during the January transfer window, but were unable to do so as he will be available on a free transfer in the summer.

Dembele was expected to be frozen out of the first-team squad owing to his contract standoff, but Xavi has included him in his playing squad, and is reaping the benefits. The 24-year-old forward has been in fine form in recent games, and has played a key role in Barcelona's resurgence into the top three on the La Liga table.

The France international has contributed seven assists and one goal in the last five games, which has prompted calls for him to remain at the Camp Nou. Dembele's Barcelona teammates have called for him to commit his future to the club, while Xavi is desperate to keep the former Borussia Dortmund winger at the club beyond this summer.

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

Barcelona vice-president Rafael Yuste has again opened the door for Dembele to remain in the Catalan capital suggesting that they are willing to reopen talks with his agents. Similarly, the 2018 World Cup winner's representatives are also ready to get back to the negotiating table to discuss a new deal.

"If he is still comfortable in Barcelona, ​​we can meet again with his agents and maybe he can renew," Yuste said, as quoted on Sport.

Dembele's new-found form on the pitch, however, will not be enough for both parties to reach an agreement. The striker will have to accept Barcelona's terms, which is not in accordance to the player's demands of a lucrative deal owing to the club's ongoing financial problems.

The Catalan giants' financial issues are requiring a number of players to take pay cuts, and their initial offer was well off Dembele's demands. It was the terms on offer that saw talks break down, but his reunion with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and his new-found form could help both parties find a compromise when it comes to the agreement.

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