Barcelona have had a change of heart regarding the future of reborn French forward Ousmane Dembele.
It took Dembele nearly four years to settle at Camp Nou, but he is currently a beating heart of the Barcelona team alongside always-present Lionel Messi.
The Catalans made the 23-year-old winger their marquee signing in the summer of 2017, coughing up €105million plus add-ons to convince Borussia Dortmund to give the go-ahead.
Initially seen as a long-term replacement for Neymar, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster deal four years ago, the France international had endured a torrid start to his La Liga life.
Often sidelined with injury problems and frequently criticized for his lackadaisical behavior off the pitch, Dembele was on the verge of becoming one of the worst signings in Barcelona history.
Ronald Koeman even considered shipping the ex-Rennes starlet out on a season-long loan last summer to help him reignite his career.
Manchester United were among the sides interested in acquiring Dembele’s services on a temporary basis but were priced out of the move by the player’s whopping wage demands.
The Frencham has eventually stayed put, which turned out to be the best thing to happen to him and Barcelona this season.
He has not only managed to overcome his physical difficulties but has become one of Koeman’s most trusted first-team stars.
Having tallied ten goals and four assists across all competitions over the course of the 2020/21 campaign, Dembele has established himself as a permanent fixture at Camp Nou.
A truly inspirational season for the quick-silver forward includes an array of magical moments, with his match-winning performance against Valladolid on Monday the best illustration of how decisive he can be.
With the winger’s influence on the squad rapidly increasing, the current La Liga runners-up are eager to tie him down to fresh terms.
The Frenchman’s current deal is due to expire in the summer of 2022, and the Blaugrana are looking to convince Dembele to commit to a new bumper contract.
According to Spanish news outlet Sport, newly-elected Barcelona president Joan Laporta has made his number one priority to extend the youngster’s stay.
Per the same source, the club hierarchy has prepared an improved three-year contract for Dembele to sign as they look to avoid being dragged into summer transfer controversies.