Ousmane Dembele has reportedly decided to take a pay cut to stay at FC Barcelona ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Dembele, who is out of contract right now, is set to accept a contract renewal that would see his salary reduced by 40%, reported CaughtOffSide.
Both parties had to compromise to reach an agreement. While Dembele has accepted lower wages, Barcelona have given him the short-term deal, which he was preferring, instead of a long-term one they would have favored, according to Spanish outlet Diario AS.
While Dembele was linked with Chelsea, a move that would see him reunite with his former boss Thomas Tuchel, the interest from the Blues was reportedly not that strong as Raheem Sterling was their top priority. It is just a matter of time before Chelsea announce the signing of Sterling in the underway summer window.
In fact, Chelsea officially have not made an offer for Dembele as yet, according to Fabrizio Romano, who has a credible record in the European transfer market. The Italian journalist also claimed that the likes of Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were also in the race to sign Dembele.
Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has never hesitated to show his admiration for Dembele and the former has pushed the Catalans to reach an agreement with the Frenchman.
Meanwhile, tying Dembele to a new contract will not stop Barcelona‘s pursuit of Leeds United forward Raphinha. Barcelona have verbally proposed a $73 million bid for Raphinha and the Premier League club is prepared to accept it once they receive it officially, Romano claimed in a tweet on his official page.
Xavi is reportedly seeing Dembele, along with Raphina, and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, as his dream front three ahead of the new campaign.
Lewandowski has made it clear to Bayern Munich that he wants to leave this summer and the Polish star has been heavily linked with Barcelona.