Atletico Madrid are reportedly in contact with Barcelona over a lucrative swap deal that would see both the clubs benefit in the long run.
Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has had a torrid time with the Catalan Giants since moving from Borussia Dortmund back in 2017. The Frenchman has only appeared five times so far this season for Barcelona, as a result of a mixture of injuries and a red card suspension, scoring just the one goal. Not only has the 22-year-old has missed a large number of games but his commitment and consistency on the pitch have been called into question by the fans.
Dembele was brought in as a successor to Neymar but has failed to live up to expectation so far. The Frenchman’s debut season with the club was marred by a hamstring problem that required surgery and kept him out for more than five months. The World Cup winner is currently out of action after suffering a knock in the first half of Barcelona’s game against Dortmund in the Champions League last month that is expected to keep him out until mid-February.
Rumours of late have suggested that Dembele will be sold by the Blaugrana if a reasonable offer comes calling. Atletico Madrid are reportedly interested in signing the 22-year-old, according to a report by El Desmarque. Diego Simione sees the youngster as an ideal attacking threat option for his side following the recent failures of Alvaro Morata, Diego Costa and Joao Felix which have led to Atleti dropping points regularly at the start of the season.
Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez has been in the radar of the Catalan Club for quite some time and the league leaders may want to take advantage of Atleti’s situation by asking them to include him in the Dembele deal. Saul is one of the club’s brightest academy graduates and has already made nearly 250 appearances for the club’s first team. The attacking midfielder has a release clause of €150 m and is under contract until 2026 at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Atletico Madrid would never normally contemplate the idea of selling the 25-year-old whom Simeone views as an indispensable asset. The Argentine, however, might be forced to part ways with the attacking midfielder with his side lying seventh in the league with just one win the last six games, and star summer signing João Felix failing to adapt to the demands of the Spanish League, thus leaving the club in a need to raise funds to buy a striker in the January transfer window.