Dembele on verge of renewing his contract at Barcelona

Dembele on verge of renewing his contract at Barcelona
After much speculation about his future and many rounds of discussions, Ousmane Dembele will soon put pen to paper on a new Barcelona contract tying him to the club until 2025.

The deal will be finalised after the close of the transfer window, but it now seems that both parties are very close and only formalities remain to be ironed out.

In securing Dembele's renewal, the Catalan club resolve one of their most important issues of the summer. With just a year remaining on his existing contract, it was a case of extend or sell now as they did not want to risk losing the Frenchman for nothing.

Barcelona were committed to playing to this hardball strategy and determined to sort the matter out this summer and not wait until the window closed. Had the 24-year-old not been injured, he'd have been watching from the stands unless he agreed to the extension.

The injury the winger suffered at the European Championship, however, changed the face of the situation. Suddenly, not only would selling Dembele be harder but his own negotiating position was weakened; the double effect of this made a renewed commitment to Barcelona the most likely solution.

One of the key difficulties during negotiations was that the Blaugrana club were firm that Dembele would need to take a major wage cut. This is not only due to the club's financial situation making such adjustments imperative, but also because they believe that for four years Dembele has been earning a star's salary while spending most of his time injured or underperforming.

The France international made improvements last season, physically and on the pitch. He's looking after himself more after so many injuries and the result is that he became an important player for Ronald Koeman.

Until the injury on international duty, he had been having a good run, both in terms of luck and in the Barcelona team. Now, Dembele will have four more years to, it is hoped, continue to make forward steps and truly establish himself as a key part of Barcelona's present and future.
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