Barcelona had decided to sell Ousmane Dembele in the summer. They listened to offers and he was close to Manchester United in a deal that would have opened the door for Memphis Depay to move to Camp Nou. In the end, Dembele decided to stay at Barça and neither deal happened.
Dembele has just over 18 months left on his deal and is in no rush to renew, so Barça are still keen to place him on the market. But the unexpected injury to Ansu Fati could change their plans, even though Barça consider it a risk to keep Dembele without a contract extension.
The France forward began the season in the dark. The coaches see his potential but don't like his tactical indiscipline and anarchy on the pitch. The game against Real Betis was a clear example of him as a player: he caused problems for the Betis defenders and scored a goal but also didn't help in defence and made life tough for Sergi Roberto. And Betis did a lot of damage down the Barça right.
Injuries to Ansu and Philippe Coutinho have allowed Dembele to play more regularly recently. There's hope his performances continue to improve but Barça have met with his agents and there doesn't seem to be a willingness to extend his deal. If they can't reach an agreement, Dembele could be tempted to leave for free in 2022. It would be a blow for Barça to lose a player the spent over 100 million euros on for free.
It's a huge dilemma, even though Barça seem ready to listen to offers again in January. Dembele has shown that he's recovered from his last injury and there are few players on the market with his ability on the wing. The Blaugrana know there are many interested clubs, but Dembele would also have to agree to leave. If the same happens as the summer, Barça will have another problem on their hands next summer.