Dembele trains with Barca as new deal moves closer
Madrid, July 13 (IANS) Ousmane Dembele and FC Barcelona appear to be on the verge of confirming the French international winger's new contract after he trained with the first-team squad on Tuesday.
Dembele, who joined Barca in 2017, is officially still a free agent after his previous contract with Barcelona expired on June 30 after months of talks failed to see the club and player reach an agreement over a new deal.
However, the player's willingness to accept a pay cut in the region of 40 per cent means that talks continued, and the press reported that he will sign a new two-year contract until June 2024, reports Xinhua.
Dembele's appearance at training is a surprise, but it was revealed in a photo posted by Barca striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the dressing room following Tuesday's session. The photo shows Dembele sitting between teammates, Samuel Umtiti and new signing Franck Kessie, a clear sign that his new deal is likely to be made official in the very near future.
Barca are also close to completing the signing of Brazilian winger Raphinha from Leeds United on a five-year deal at a price of around 58 million euros.