Barcelona hope to tie Ousmane Dembele down to a new ‘pay as you play’ contract to protect themselves against his injury struggles.
Dembele, whose deal is up at the end of the season, has suffered horribly from injuries since joining the club back in 2017. A knee injury prevented him from making his first appearance of the current campaign until November’s win over Dynamo Kyiv, in which he played 25 minutes and picked up a hamstring problem which has sent him back to the treatment table.
Those fitness problems are an obvious concern for Barcelona, who know they are going to have to offer Dembele a big salary to keep him. They don’t have the money to pay someone huge sums of money while they are injured, so Sport claim they are working on a compromise.
Club director Mateu Alemany has proposed ‘the Alemany formula’, which would see Dembele sign a contract which revolves around his involvement on the pitch and pays him in accordance to his availability.
Alemany has used this type of contract before during his time in charge of both Mallorca and Valencia and he is keen to convince Dembele of its worth.
It’s a basic concept, really. The contract would split the season up into blocks of matches and would pay Dembele whenever he hit these milestones, such as 15 or 20 games played.
These blocks are expected to be very low and attainable for Dembele, ensuring that he wouldn’t be stiffed out of money because of the odd injury that impacts every player on the planet.
If he plays every game, not only would his salary not be impacted, but because of bonuses, he could actually take home more than he earns currently. Barcelona are keen to give the Frenchman the chance to be paid like a global superstar and would be happy to do so if he reaches that kind of level.
The dilemma, however, is convincing Dembele that signing this kind of contract is better than agreeing to a huge weekly salary somewhere else without any risks that injuries could harm his income.
To try keep him happy, it’s suggested that Barcelona could offer Dembele a normal contract on a short-term basis while they thrash out the details of this Alemany-inspired proposal, but there’s no guarantee any of that would work.