The Barcelona-Ousmane Dembele saga this summer started with the club wanting to offload the winger, but now want him to stay and extend his current contract that expires in June 2022. The Catalan club had identified English Premier League side Manchester City as a potential destination for the French winger, but the move failed to materialise despite there being interest from both sides.

Barcelona were keen to sell Dembele in order to ease the burden on their wage bill and bring their financial problems under control. The La Liga outfit's dire situation saw them settle for three free transfers and one loan signing to reinforce their squad.

Dembele is among the high earners at the club and his lack of minutes owing to injury was hurting the club. According to Barca Blaugranes, Barcelona were keen to move him on and offered him to Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions. The move did not come to fruition after both clubs failed to agree a fee, with City also reluctant to splash cash.

City were willing to broker a player-plus-cash deal with the likes of Aymeric Laporte and Raheem Sterling touted to move in the opposite direction. Barcelona have been on the trail of Sterling and were open to bringing the England international to the Camp Nou.

However, the move failed to materialise after Sterling decided that he did not want to leave the Etihad Stadium for the Camp Nou this summer. He remains a target for the Catalan outfit, but they are also in the process of negotiating a new deal for Dembele, who was praised by new head coach Xavi Hernandez during his unveiling earlier this week.

Dembele's current contract expires in June 2022 and he is yet to respond to Barcelona's offer of a new deal. The 2018 World Cup winner is expected to wait until January and assess all his options before making a decision on his future.

The 24-year-old is not short of suitors with the likes of Liverpool, Newcastle United and Juventus monitoring the situation. They are all willing to offer more lucrative packages than Barcelona to lure him on a free transfer 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