Ousmane Dembele is in the final phase of his recovery from his umpteenth injury, which occurred at Euro 2020 in the summer with France.
Dembele has not yet played this season for Barcelona, therefore, and it's not guaranteed that he will play when he returns because it could be conditioned by his contract situation.
So far, he's not reached an agreement to extend his deal with Barça, which expires in the summer, and the situation does not benefit anyone.
Barça are not well stocked with wide players and Dembele cannot afford the luxury of spending the season in the stands if he doesn't sign fresh terms.
Dembele didn't take part in Wednesday's friendly against Cornella but has returned to training with the group and is doing ball work. He won't be back for Valencia this weekend but the Clasico on Oct. 24 is a target.
From a fitness point of view, Dembele could have some minutes, or at least be in the squad, but his situation is compromised as negotiations are drawn out.
Dembele's deal ends on June 30 and an agreement is taking longer than expected, despite continual contact with his agent, while Premier League clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea wait.
The player's stance -- and the club's -- can be disputed, but what's clear is that no one will benefit from this situation when Dembele is fit again.
Coach Ronald Koeman needs a player with his qualities and Dembele, with a long list of injuries, needs minutes to refind his best form. It's a worrying situation.