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Barcelona will bench £135.5m forward if he attempts to force 2022 free transfer with United and…

Barcelona are undergoing something of a financial crisis that will force the Catalan giants to make a number of difficult decisions

With injured star Ousmane Dembele said to be considering avoiding new terms in order to pursue a free transfer to another side in the summer of 2022, the Spain-based outfit are reportedly prepared to bench the player for the next season in response.

This comes from Mundo Deportivo reporter Lluis Canut (via Sport Witness), who claims that both Manchester United and Juventus are keeping track of the 24-year-old, who previously arrived in the Spanish top-flight for a fee of £135.5m.

With €200m reportedly needing to be raised, according to The Athletic, in order to register their four new signings, it’s possible that financial desperation may prompt the club to accept a cut-price bid for the likes of Dembele to help raise capital.

As the Frenchman is likely to miss four months of football, however, it would seem unlikely that Barcelona will be able to sell the forward on much before the January transfer window.

Presumably, this will be the player’s best chance of holding on to a place in France’s potential World Cup squad, if Ronald Koeman intends on going ahead with the reported response to the former Dortmund man’s transfer intentions.