Barcelona have found 21-year-old Ousmane Dembele replacement as the club ready to sell the French star next summer.
For the first part of 2022, Ousmane Dembele’s contract dispute with Barcelona dominated the news. Over a week after becoming a free agent, the Frenchman finally agreed to a new contract with the team after a protracted saga.
But it’s important to keep in mind that the 25-year-old merely signed a two-year contract with the Blaugrana, thus next summer will mark the beginning of his second 12-month term.
Barça wants to negotiate as soon as possible and hopes to bind him to a new, lengthy deal. However, the Catalan giants are putting up backup plans in case their efforts do not produce the intended outcome.
If Dembele chooses not to sign a new deal, the Blaugrana will reportedly cash in on him next summer so they won’t lose him for free in 2024.
Additionally, according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona has identified Nicolas Jackson, a teenage winger now playing for Villarreal, as a potential Dembele successor and is actively monitoring the winger’s progress.
Jackson, 21, has been at Villarreal since 2019, and Unai Emery gave him his first-team break last season. This season, he has made more appearances for the senior team, totaling 18 in all competitions, with three goals and two assists.
Jackson, who plays as a right winger mostly, can play anywhere along the frontline, which is a quality that Barcelona values. The 21-year-contract old’s predicament, in addition to his versatility and technical skills, makes him an alluring target for the Catalans.
At the conclusion of the season, Jackson’s contract with Villarreal expires, making him a free agent in the following summer. And Barça wants to take advantage of it, so they have already gotten in touch with his entourage about a prospective transfer, though they won’t be able to start formal discussions until January.
However, given that Aston Villa, a Premier League team, recently hired Emery as their manager, Barcelona will need to be careful of their interest.
While the club may be interested in Jackson, the source makes it clear that Dembele’s contract renewal is a top priority at Camp Nou and that efforts would be made to extend it past 2024.