Ousmane Dembele’s future at Barcelona continues to be the subject of speculation with the Frenchman out of contract in the summer and able to leave on a free transfer.
Barcelona are now expecting to lose Dembele and are thinking about possible replacements. Former winger Adama Traore is an option and “wants to return” to the Camp Nou, according to Lluis Miguelsanz at Diario Sport.
The 25-year-old’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has already spoken to Barca about the possibility of Traore heading home and the winger is said to be willing to “adjust his salary” to come back.
Traore’s current side Wolverhampton Wanderers value Traore at around €20 million but the price is said to be negotiable. Barcelona winger Francisco Trincao, who is currently on loan at Molineux, could also be used to in the deal to lower the price.
The winger is expected to have other offers but a move to Barcelona is his “priority” and would offer Traore the chance to head back to the club where he began his career and has many friends.
Wolves Boss Plays Down Traore Rumors
Wolves boss Bruno Lage has played down rumors Traore could leave Wolves and insisted he has not heard of any offers being received despite rumors of a bid from Tottenham Hotspur, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.
“No. For now I know nothing,” he said. About Adama, the only thing I can say, it’s the same Adama since the first day. Every time training well, being the good professional he is. He is here with us, wants to play for us and always works hard.”
Yet Lage did acknowledge that the club may be unable to keep hold of Traore should a good offer arrive for the winger who is out of contract with the Premier League side in the summer of 2023.
“Adama before, he has one year left on his contract, and I need to understand that,” he added. “It’s not just about Adama, if it’s good for the club and the player, we need to find a solution. For now, I want to keep the four wingers I have.”
Xavi ‘Disappointed with Dembele’
Meanwhile, Barcelona coach Xavi has been left “very disappointed” with Dembele as the Frenchman had told him it was his “absolute priority” to stay at the Camp Nou, as reported by Javi Miguel at Diario AS.
The coach now feels betrayed and believes Dembele is surrounded by a “toxic environment,” particularly his agent who seems to prioritize finances over the player’s sporting development.
Xavi now feels the best solution would be for Barca to sell Dembele in January rather than see him walk away for free in the summer. The coach won’t put Dembele in the stands if he does stay but is aware he could get booed by supporters if he continues to play without signing a new contract.