The French forward is in the final six months of his deal at Camp Nou and won't renew
The breakdown in talks for Ousmane Dembele to extend his stay at Barcelona could lead to an exciting end to the January transfer window.
Barça are looking into formulas to make a return on a player that cost over 100 million euros and will leave for free in June when his contract expires.
They've explored rescinding his contract and allowing him to leave for nothing this month as part of a mutual agreement to save half of his salary, which would allow them to sign another player now, with Alvaro Morata the target. Morata is awaiting developments in Turin, where he is on loan at Juventus from Atletico Madrid.
Barça would like to transfer Dembele this month but the player is not keen. That's led to the possibility of releasing him, as long as Dembele accepts. Unilaterally canceling his deal is not an option because Dembele would fight the decision and probably win. It remains to be seen if he would accept leaving for nothing now, giving up what is owed to him between now and June to move to his new club sooner.
If he doesn't, Barça could opt to leave him in the stands for six months, something that could affect his participation in the World Cup in Qatar.
Dembele is one of the biggest earners at the club. Therefore, removing his salary, in addition to renewing Sergi Roberto's deal, would allow them to register another forward. The numbers have been done with Morata and they work, so movement is expected before the end of January to get the deal over the line. If Dembele goes, Morata will be close to joining.