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Liverpool and Dembélé could be the perfect transfer match as FSG sense a bargain

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On the field, Liverpool have started the season brightly.

Second in the league behind Chelsea; top of their Champions League group; unbeaten in all competitions. Things are going well.

Off the pitch, the club is already looking ahead to next season.

It’s been reported that FSG are eyeing up signing Barcelona’s French winger Ousmane Dembélé on a free transfer.

Dembélé’s contract with the Blaugrana expires at the end of the current campaign, and the winger is able to talk with potential suitors at the turn of the year. Liverpool are expected to be in amongst them.

Dembélé and Barcelona are at odds over an extension. The Spanish club are battling against crippling financial debt, estimated at over £400m, and have told the winger that any new contract would mean him taking a significant cut on the £200k-per-week he’s currently earning.

Dembélé, despite an injury-hit five years in Spain, has no shortage of potential clubs interested in his services, and so is seemingly reluctant to take the cut Barca are asking.

It’s worth remembering that Dembélé is still only 24 years old, despite seemingly being around for years. He’ll be 25 by the time his contract expires, and therefore still has plenty of years at highest level.

That is, of course, if he can maintain his fitness.

Dembélé has missed a frankly staggering 101 games since joining Barcelona in the summer of 2017. Dembélé was signed in the aftermath of Neymar’s shock transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, with Barca panic-buying and spending over €100m for the then-19-year-old. It’s fair to say that the club haven’t come close to getting that figure repaid in consistency.

Dembélé is yet to start a century of games for the club, even combining all competitions.

And yet, it’s undeniable that there’s a major talent in Dembélé. There was a reason why Barcelona paid all that money for him initially.

His injury track record would be a worry for Liverpool. The last thing the club need is another Naby Keïta-type situation, where Dembélé spends more time on the treatment table than on the pitch.

However, if they were to manage his body correctly, it could be a very shrewd move by Liverpool.

It’s very possible that one of Sadio Mané or Roberto Firmino will be moving on at the end of the season, by which time both will be 30 years old and each will be into the final year of their contract. Firmino has been supplanted in the starting XI by Diogo Jota this season, and Mané, whilst scoring goals, hasn’t looked his sharpest.

Dembélé could be a replacement for either player, but more likely Mané, given that he can’t play centrally in the way Firmino does so brilliantly.

If Jürgen Klopp could unlock the as-yet unfulfilled potential that Dembélé has, then the move could go down as one of the finest of the FSG era. Dembélé’s upside is enormous.

But it’s also likely that Liverpool wouldn’t match his current Barca wages, which would instantly put him in the top bracket of earners, above the likes of club stalwarts Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.

It’s the lack of a transfer fee that could entice Liverpool to make a move for him, and if his injury record follows him to Anfield, it would be unfortunate for Dembélé, but not a huge gamble for the club, per se.

Dembélé could prove to be devastating under Klopp’s tutelage, if he stays fit. It’s a big ‘if’, but is he worth a gamble, should he lower his demands? Absolutely.



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