The ghosts of the past are returning at Barcelona. Paris Saint-Germain are back in the hunt for another Barcelona player and, as was the case in the summer of 2017, the Catalan club aren't in a good spot.
On that occasion, the Parisians shelled out 222 million euros for Neymar. This time the move could be a lot cheaper for them. As much as 172-million euros less.
The Parisians are preparing for a future without Kylian Mbappe and have set their sights on Ousmane Dembele. A big game piece in the transfer market that, surprisingly, has been left unguarded by Los Cules. With a 50-million-euro buy-out clause valid until August 1, he's readily available.
The situation right now is in Dembele's hands and it looks bad for the Blaugrana. According to SER, Paris Saint-Germain have asked Barcelona in writing to negotiate with the player, as they are willing to pay his release clause.
As a result, Barcelona have set about trying to stop him from leaving. The decision is his. Xavi has told him many times, in private and in public, that he is a key part of his project.
The sporting directors have also made this known to him. Of course, the Catalans' ability to convince him financially is much lower than that of PSG. They were in negotiations to renew his contract, although they were proving complicated due to the player's financial demands. PSG would have no problem fulfilling such wishes.
Countdown is on
In all this, timing is very important. The player's release clause goes from 50 to 100 million euros on August 1. The thing is that in Dembele's last contract renewal, Barcelona agreed to give the player 50 percent of any transfer fee.
In any case, both the 50 and 100 million euros are perfectly acceptable figures for PSG. Barcelona, on the other hand, would not find it easy to sell one of their best players for such a small amount. For 25-50 million euros they will not find a replacement for him on the market.
Dembele's agent, who has always had a reputation as a tough nut to crack, has told Barcelona that, if he leaves, it will only be if there is an agreement between the clubs and not by way of his buyout clause.
However, the Catalan club want nothing to do with sitting down to negotiate with PSG. They want Dembele to stay and the meeting that the player will have with Xavi could be decisive. They know that financially the battle is lost and hence the pessimism that has been established around Barcelona. Only Xavi's words could work a miracle.
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