Xavi Hernandez has reiterated Barcelona's desire to tie down Ousmane Dembele to a new deal with the speedy winger in the final eight months of his current deal. The Catalan club's new boss also hinted that he will be looking at adding a new winger to his squad after holding talks with club president Joan Laporta.
Dembele's current contract expires in June 2022 and he will be able to talk to clubs outside Spain when the winter transfer window opens on Jan 1. Barcelona are keen to ensure they have him locked into a new deal before he is able to assess the other offers on the table with a number of clubs from England and Italy monitoring the situation.
Barcelona have initiated talks with the France international and his representatives, with an offer already on the table. Dembele, however, is yet to respond to the new offer, and is said to be keen to assess all his options before making any decision on his future.
The 24-year-old winger will not be short of suitors should he enter the January transfer window with six months remaining on his deal. Barcelona are aware that their financial troubles will see other interested clubs like Liverpool and Juventus make much more lucrative offers for the soon-to-be free agent.
Xavi is keen for Barcelona to come to terms over an agreement that will see Dembele remain at the Camp Nou well beyond 2022. He is certain that the Frenchman can be the best in the world, but admitted that he will have to put in the hard work to maximise his true potential.
"That's a priority [Dembele's new contract]," Xavi said during his unveiling as Barcelona's new head coach, as quoted on Barca Blaugranes. "Coached well, Dembele, in his position, can be the best player in the world. He has all the qualities to be a superstar. But he has to work a lot, we have to demand a lot from him."
Xavi also hinted that he could be on the lookout for a new winger when the January transfer window arrives. The former Spain international confirmed that he will hold talks with Laporta after revealing his ideas for a new "open winger" playing style.
"Well, I only landed a couple of days ago, we have to talk to the president about many things. One of those is the winter transfer market. We have some top-level wingers that are good one-to-one. Let's see how Ansu evolves. But yes, I want to play with open wingers, playing wide and that can play in one-to-one situation," the Camp Nou legend added.