Newcastle United are reportedly in a ‘pole position’ to sign Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, who is also a target for Manchester United.
According to an exclusive report from Mundo Depotivo, Premier League duo Manchester United and Newcastle United could put pressure on Barcelona by submitting lucrative pre-contract offers to Ousmane Dembele. The Blaugrana are struggling to reach an agreement with the 24-year-old due to their financial troubles, which is preventing them from offering him a significant pay increase.
Despite new Barcelona boss Xavi’s desperate efforts to persuade the French international to sign to a new deal, the 2018 World Cup winner is not pleased by the renewed terms proposed by the La Liga giants and is said to be weighing up his options amidst interest from Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Juventus.
However, it is cash-rich Newcastle United, who are understood to be the frontrunners to secure the services of the Frenchman and have allegedly made an ‘astronomical’ contract offer worth €15 million-per-season in salary plus the same amount as a signing-on bonus to Ousmane Dembele in the hope of convincing the 24-year-old to join the club on a free transfer next summer, while Manchester United are also claimed to be readying a lucrative contract proposal.
Dembele has endured an injury-riddled spell at Barcelona ever since arriving from Dortmund for a hefty fee rising up to €130 million. In total, he has made 130 appearances for the Catalans in the last four years, bagging 30 goals while assisting a further 22 times along the way.
The tale has been no different in the 2021/22 season; recurring injuries have meant he has just managed 50 minutes of footballing action this campaign. To put his fitness problems into perspective, the Frenchman has missed a total of 100 games for the Blaugrana due to injury.
Dembele’s current deal at Camp Nou is expiring next June, meaning that, as it stands, he will be free to negotiate terms with an overseas club at the turn of the year ahead of a Bosman move next summer. This contract situation has alerted many top clubs across Europe, with Newcastle and Manchester being mentioned as two of several possible destinations.
Dembele would be a huge coup for the Magpies and a statement signing. He would certainly represent an upgrade on all of their current wide options, while a potential French duo of Allan Saint-Maximin and Dembele on either flank would wreak havoc on opposition defences. However, a move to Newcastle seems highly improbable; with them currently sitting at 20th place in the standings, relegation is a real possibility.
Manchester United, meanwhile, have a long-standing interest in Dembele ever since they failed to sign him from Barcelona towards the end of the 2020/21 summer transfer window. The Red Devils are well-stocked in the attacking areas at the moment, but Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial are all nearing the exit door in the coming months.
They could perhaps make do with someone of Dembele’s calibre, but his injury-prone nature and massive salary demands remain a problem. Despite the rumours of heavy outside interest, Barcelona remain intent on tying their star winger down to a new deal. Only time will tell whether the 24-year-old secures a move to any of the aforementioned clubs or ends up staying at Camp Nou.