Newcastle United ‘hold talks’ with super star during shock North East visit

The player visited the home of Newcastle United’s Tyne-Wear rivals last month.

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Newcastle United reportedly hold an unlikely interest in Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele - after club intermediaries met with the player’s representatives during a recent visit to the United Kingdom.

The France international will enter the final year of his contract this summer and it is unclear if he will extend his stay at Camp Nou. Dembele has been at the Spanish giants since 2017 after joining from Borussia Dortmund for £97million plus add-ons.

Injuries have limited Dembele’s impact at Barca. He’s made 178 appearances in six years and has been sidelined since January with a hamstring issue. On his day, however, the 25-year-old is a world-class player.

Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

The Magpies have been frequently linked with Dembele since the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia took over the club from Mike Ashley in October 2021. That said, the speculation has been difficult to believe, especially when the club has adopted a more modest approach in the transfer window.

The latest report from 90min claims United intermediaries briefly met with the player’s camp during his trip to the North East last month. Dembele, close friends with Sunderland chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, made a shock visit to the Stadium of Light to watch their defeat to Sheffield United.

Elsewhere, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City have been credited with an interest, as have European giants Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.

Securing Champions League football for next season will allow Eddie Howe to attract elite players, and while Dembele fits that bill, Newcastle are keen to manage their wage structure. The club’s top earner is Bruno Guimaraes, who is on a reported £120,000-per-week. Dembele is understood to earn up to £200,000-per-week.

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