Ousmane Dembele’s two-year contract renewal, coupled with a €50 million release clause, means he could be back on the market in June and July.
Barcelona want him to stay but there are other clubs who are once again thinking of making a move for the France winger.
Chelsea, per The Sun, are one of the clubs considering signing him as long as he does not negotiate new terms with Barça and a bidding war breaks over.
The Dembele sopa opera earlier this year ended with him signing a new deal with Barça. He put his interest in being part of Xavi Hernandez’s project first.
The scenario may be different this time because his performances have been stable and his fitness has been reliable.
Barça are aware there could be noise again. Part of the release clause would be paid to the player and his agent, which could be a factor.
The World Cup could play a role, too, if Dembele has a good tournament which drums up even more interest in him.
Xavi considers him key to his project but Barça will not pay over the odds if it comes down to a battle with other clubs.
For now, Barça have made no moves with the player’s deal running until 2024.
But there is a window next summer when Dembele could leave for €50m and there will be rumours.
If Chelsea step up their interest, Barça could let him leave because they are clear that they will only talk about a contract extension, not a pay rise.
Barça’s salary limit is still tight and they will not pay a euro more than necessary.