One of Barcelona's priorities in the coming weeks is to deal with the contract renewals of three first-team players: Oscar Mingueza, Ilaix Moriba and Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele, who's in his best run of form since joining Barça for €105 million in 2017, is the one being most closely pursued, by Manchester United.
The Premier League side wanted to sign Dembele last summer on loan with an option to buy. Talks broke down in the final days of the transfer window because Barça wanted the French forward to sign a one-year contract extension before leaving. Dembele's current deal expires in the summer of 2022.
With his improved performances, United have increased their interest. They have remained in touch with the player's entourage and have communicated their plan to them. They're prepared to offer Barça a fee this summer, keeping in mind certain circumstances, or they're willing to wait until he's available for free next year.
Barça coach Ronald Koeman is really happy with Dembele's form and considers him an important part of his project. New president Joan Laporta hopes to advance talks over a new deal in the coming weeks.
The main hurdle to overcome to reach an agreement is financial, given Dembele has the ace up of his sleeve of being free next summer. His salary demands are high at a time when the club are trying to reduce the wage bill.
If an agreement cannot be closed by the summer, Barça would be obliged to sell Dembele this year, given the danger of losing him for free in 2022.
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