Guardiola: 'Many things can happen' in Premier League race
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Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham have all been put on alert after Barcelona reportedly handed winger Ousmane Dembele a contract ultimatum. The Frenchman is out of contract in June and has been linked with a transfer to the Premier League.
The La Liga side have been locked in contract negotiations with Dembele for a while but there has been no evidence that a deal will soon be concluded.
The 24-year-old missed the first three months of the season with a serious knee injury.
He picked up the knock while playing for France at Euro 2020 and only marked his return at the start of November.
By that point, former boss Ronald Koeman was moving towards a bitter end to his reign and was soon replaced by legendary former midfielder Xavi Hernandez.
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However, the arrival of the former Barca captain has seemingly not encouraged Dembele to pen a new deal.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, the Catalan club have now given Dembele until December 31 to respond to their latest offer.
The player can sign a pre-contract deal with a foreign club from January 1, allowing him to leave on a free transfer in the summer.
Barca’s supposed ultimatum suggests that they will consider selling Dembele in January if he does not accept their proposal.
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The report continues that Premier League sides Man Utd, Chelsea and Tottenham have all met Dembele’s agent to discuss a possible transfer.
Both United and Spurs are entering their first transfer window under new management.
Ralf Rangnick has been appointed as interim head coach at Old Trafford while Antonio Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo at the north London club.
Each club are likely to woo their new bosses with a hefty transfer budget, although in United’s case, a new forward is not a necessity.
Chelsea’s wide options are currently stacked, with Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech able to support Romelu Lukaku.
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Meanwhile, Liverpool have previously been credited with an interest in Dembele, who was a £130m signing at the Nou Camp in 2017.
In October, MundoDeportivo reported that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is ‘in love’ with the former Borussia Dortmund star and that outgoing sporting director Michael Edwards was already preparing the finances behind a possible deal.
Liverpool will lose forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for a month at the start of 2022.
The pair, who have scored a combined 28 goals across all competitions this term, will compete at the African Cup of Nations between January 9 and February 6.
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