MANCHESTER UNITED have been joined by Newcastle in the race for Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, according to reports.
But the Catalan giants have offered the Frenchman a new contract and reportedly given him a ONE-MONTH deadline to sign it.
Newcastle are set to battle Man Utd for Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele
The Toon are set to be active in the next transfer window after their £305million takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
The France international’s agent wants him to leave Barca but the Catalan giants have hatched a plan to convince him to stay, according to Mundo Deportivo.
One of the main elements of their scheme is to put a deadline on his decision.
The Nou Camp outfit need to start planning for life without Dembele – who is said to have told the club he wants to stay – if he does decide to leave.
And they also hope the time restraints will make him more likely to agree a deal with the them.
If Dembele opts to reject their new deal, Barca may reportedly try and sell him as early as January to bring in some cash.
The former Borussia Dortmund star’s deal expires at the end of the season so he can sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas side in January.
And that would see him leave for free if nothing happens before then.
Dembele turned down a four-year extension offer that included a decreased salary on account of the club’s financial woes.
He has held talks with the Toon over a potential five-year contract with an annual salary of £12.7million, which would see him earning about £240,000-a-week.
He has also asked for a signing-on fee of £12.7m because he would be arriving as a free agent.
Dembele enjoyed an impressive year at Dortmund where he amassed 10 goals and 22 assists in 50 appearances across all competitions.
Barcelona signed him in 2017 but he has since struggled to deliver at the Nou Camp due to a string of injuries.
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The ex-Rennes star has so far registered a total of 30 goals and 21 assists in 118 games with the Catalan giants.
Dembele is still part of the squad despite the exodus of various stars in the last two years, such as Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and club legend Lionel Messi.
Under-fire manager Ronald Koeman has lost immense firepower in attack and now has to make due with the likes of Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite and Luuk de Jong.