Liverpool have opened talks with Ousmane Dembele about a free transfer from the Camp Nou but his wages will be a major obstacle, writes Michael Mongie.
An exclusive story from TEAMtalk from the weekend claimed that the Reds are “lining up an offer for Ousmane Dembele in January” but now it seems they will look to sign him for free next summer.
They will not have to pay a fee, according to Mundo Deportivo, as his deal with Barcelona expires at the end of the season and “Jurgen Klopp is in love with the Frenchman”.
Meanwhile, “Michael Edwards has already put in place [a] plan to get him signed next summer” and so long as Dembele does not sign new terms with Barcelona, he could be on his way to Anfield in 2022.
His £200,000/week wages will be an issue for Liverpool, however, and TEAMtalk claim that the Reds would want him to talk a pay cut to join them but the more realistic way for him to move to Anfield would be to abandon the current wage structure.
Mohamed Salah wants to earn £300,000 per week and it doesn’t seem implausible that FSG will meet his demands and while he deserves to be the highest-paid player at the club, new players are going to demand to be paid higher than before if FSG go above and beyond what they have paid any other player by quite some distance.
Dembele is a fantastic player but paying him £200k per week would be a questionable move just purely based on his injury record.
On his day, the Frenchman can rip any defence to shreds but injuries have left him a shadow of the player he should have developed into at this point and so Liverpool are correct to ask him to take a pay cut to move to Liverpool.
The thought of Liverpool signing Dembele is an exciting one but it’s also a transfer that I imagine Klopp will approach with caution even if he’s 24 and has the potential to move on from his injury problems.