FC Barcelona are reportedly looking to change their transfer plans to keep star forward Ousmane Dembele.
The Catalan giants could confirm this change of plans by ending their pursuit of sensational Leeds United winger Raphinha.
According to Barca Blaugranes, Barcelona have contacted the winger’s agent to open talks over a new contract, a decision that could be a huge blow in their hunt for the signature of Raphinha.
Dembele will be a free agent in the summer transfer window and he was even set to leave in January after rejecting Barcelona’s short-term contract proposals with a move to Paris Saint Germain written all over the stars.
Nevertheless, the arrival of Xavi as manager changed the minds of the Blaugranes and things have changed a lot over the last month or two. Of late, the transfer rumours regarding Raphinha and Barcelona have fallen down the pecking order.
Dembele, still only 24, was heavily criticised for his lack of fitness and then ostracized from the Barça squad, leaving the player and his reputation unsettled and miffed at the way the club handled the situation. Somehow, the impactful management of coach Xavi helped pave the way for Dembele to reincarnate into a key contributor.
FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta said that he really likes Ousmane Dembele. He admitted the club made him a proposal that expired in December, but the Frenchman was unwilling to accept the club’s low wage salary offer.
Leeds United’s Raphinha is still believed to be top of Barcelona’s transfer wish list for the summer transfer window. Laporta has confirmed that the 25-year old Brazilian is on the agenda and talks are taking place with the club’s transfer agent Deco, a former Barça star.
The Catalan giants have to make a huge decision soon. Both talented wingers Dembele and Raphinha are admired by elite European clubs like Paris Saint Germain, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Should Barcelona let Ousmane Dembele go to create space for Raphinha to blossom at the Camp Nou?