The future of FC Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is as uncertain as ever. Despite a declaration from new manager Xavi Hernandez stating that he would like the forward to renew, a new bid from Premier League side Newcastle United may sway the Frenchman.
Dembele has so far held back from signing a contract extension with the Catalan giants, with many believing that he wants to keep his options open to see what is on the table when the January transfer window comes around,
Xavi wants Dembele to stay and has made it clear that he is part of the manager's plans for Barcelona's rebuild. The club's executives support Xavi, and have reportedly sent an offer which is "as attractive as possible" given Barcelona's current financial limitations.
However, with the Catalan giants deeply hampered by their debts, the offer is deemed insufficient by Dembele and his team. As such, they are biding their time to see who would come knocking. Now, Barca Blaugranes reports that Newcastle United have prepared an "astronomical" offer meant to give Dembele little to think about.
While playing with Barcelona is still as prestigious as it ever was, Newcastle's wealth may prove to be too tempting to ignore. The Premier League side has just been acquired by Saudi Arabia backed Public Investment Fund. Middle Eastern oil money has been injected into their coffers, and they are determined to poach the French forward away from the cash-strapped La Liga side.
It will be a disaster for Barcelona, who will potentially lose one of their biggest assets on a free transfer if Dembele accepts a pre-contract agreement in January. The 24-year-old will reportedly earn €15 million a season on top of a signing bonus of another €15 million. Barcelona does not have the capability to match that offer, and it looks like Dembele already has one foot out the door.
The biggest obstacle in Newcastle's bid at the moment is the fact that they are currently sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table. Needless to say, playing with a relegated squad is not an attractive prospect.