Barcelona make Ousmane Dembele extension beyond 2022 a 'priority move'

Barcelona make Ousmane Dembele extension beyond 2022 a ‘priority move’ after turning his career around… despite boss Ronald Koeman ‘being ready to sanction move to Manchester United’ just SIX months ago

  • Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele could have moved to Old Trafford in September 
  • French forward decided to fight for his place and has become integral to the side
  • The club is reportedly keen to tie him down to fresh terms ‘as soon as possible’

Barcelona are set to make a contract extension for Ousmane Dembele beyond 2022 ‘a priority move’ after turning his career around at the club.

The French forward joined the Spanish giants from Borussia Dortmund for a minimum fee of £97million in August 2017, making him the joint-sixth most expensive transfer of all time.

Dembele has often suffered from inconsistency since then, only making nine appearances and scoring one goal in all competitions last season after suffering a hamstring injury.  

Barcelona are reportedly keen to tie Ousmane Dembele (second left) down to a new contract

The French forward, 23, has impressed up top for the Spanish side alongside Lionel Messi (left)

But he has become an integral part of the Catalonian outfit, and Mundo Deportivo report the club want to tie him down to fresh terms as soon as possible.

Six months ago, boss Ronald Koeman was reportedly willing to let him move to Old Trafford if he accepted Manchester United’s offer, meaning Koeman could buy one of his top targets, Lyon’s Memphis Depay. 

But since then Dembele has thrived under the new 3-5-2 system, giving him license to roam up front alongside Lionel Messi and use his speed without shackling him with defensive responsibilities, although his finishing could be more clinical at times.

Boss Ronald Koeman was reportedly willing to let him go to Manchester United six months ago

But Dembele, who scored against Real Sociedad on March 21, has turned his career around

Dembele has made his way back into France’s team and played against Ukraine on Wednesday

Previously, a contract renewal could have been considered as a desire to maximise the potential transfer fee received if they sold him, but this extension is understood to be purely based on footballing matters.

His injury record was also a concern, but the 23-year-old has played 23 consecutive games since the last game he missed on December 22 against Real Valladolid, scoring five goals, and played in France’s 1-1 draw against Ukraine on Wednesday.

Although the 22-cap international is believed to want assurances over his starting place, this is not likely to be a problem, with the club understood to be very pleased with his commitment and determination to start returning on his sizeable price tag.

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