Ousmane Demebele’s contract negotiations with Barcelona have reportedly collapsed, paving the way for the Frenchman to leave the Nou Camp for free next summer.
Dembele, 24, has been locked in talks with Barcelona chiefs over a contract extension with his current deal set to expire at the end of the campaign.
New Barca boss Xavi is determined to keep hold of Dembele and negotiations had been positive. It was reported last week that the attacker was prepared to make a sensational U-turn having had his heart set on an exit.
Ousmane Dembele is likely to leave Barcelona for free after contract talks reportedly collapsed
The same report suggested that Dembele – who joined for £135million in 2017 – would be willing to take a wage cut to stay on and had been looking for a new pay packet of £200,000-per-week.
But now Goal reports that talks between the club and Dembele’s representatives have not gone as expected and an agreement is yet to be reached.
The outlet reports that the Frenchman’s demands were not met and the two parties remain a long way apart in wage proposals. Dembele is reported to have balked at the wage cut that Barca put forward.
Barcelona have been hit with financial difficulties in recent years, with the LaLiga club’s debts passing the £1bn mark earlier this year.
The 24-year-old has been locked in talks and was reportedly prepared to take a wage cut
However, the parties remain some distance apart in wage proposals and talks have collapsed
Senior stars such as Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba also took pay cuts to help ease the financial burden on the Catalans.
Despite the devastating blow to negotiations, Xavi and Barcelona remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached, even with Dembele free to negotiate with other clubs when he enters the final six months of his contract on January 1.
Xavi wants Dembele to be a key part of his Barcelona rebuild and said of the Frenchman: ‘We are going to be positive for him to renew, for me it is fundamental.’
Barcelona need to slash their wage bill in order to register new £55m signing Ferran Torres to their squad.
Bayern Munich, Newcastle United, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United have been linked with moves for the former Borussia Dortmund star.
Source: DailyMail Sports