Barcelona's board did not get all their work done in the summer window, which was complicated because of the economic crisis. They could not give Koeman the forward and centre back he wanted. The objective now is to ease the wage bill to make room, and Ousmane Dembele's departure is seen as key. The Frenchman was close to signing for Man United but there was not time to get the deal through. Now they have to look for the next solution.
Dembele's situation is delicate. He is not in Koeman's plans. The coach wanted him out too. His contract only has a year and a half left to run too, so a sale is important.
Dembele did not want to leave. In the coming weeks they will speak to his agent and tell them that if he does not renew his deal, he will be placed on the market. The intention is to make it easy for him to go and find a solution that satisfies everyone. Now Barca aren't talking about loans, but a transfer. They paid 105m euros for Dembele and know they cannot get it back. They would accept 50 million plus.
There may be offers from the Premier League at that price and he could be sold in January. The market may be more active then, depending on how the pandemic control goes.
The reality is that Dembele has not lived up to expectations and Ansu Fati has his place in the team. If Dembele does not renew his deal (to allow Barca to sell more comfortably), then they will look for an exit in January.
When he goes, Barca can bring someone in - Memphis Depay the main target.