Newcastle plotting sensational swoop for Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele – report

Newcastle-linked Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona during the Copa del Rey quarter-final match between Barcelona and Real Sociedad on 25 January, 2023 at Spotify Camp Nou in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
(Image credit: Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Newcastle (opens in new tab) are reportedly lining up a huge summer move for Barcelona (opens in new tab) and France star Ousmane Dembele.

The 25-year-old winger has been in fine form for La Liga leaders Barca this season, so far largely avoiding the injury troubles which have plagued him throughout his career and potentially put would-be suitors off.

And according to Italian outlet CalcioMercato (via Goal) (opens in new tab), Newcastle are interested in France international, – but they could face competition from Liverpool (opens in new tab).

Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona on 8 January, 2023 at the Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Spain.

Dembele has scored five goals and provided five assists in La Liga this season (Image credit: Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

The report adds that Dembele has release clause worth around £43m (he's currently valued by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab) at approximately £52.5m) – and that Newcastle are prepared to trigger it.

Such a fee would represent a massive loss for Barca, who made Dembele one of the most expensive players of all time when they signed him from Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) for an initial £96.8m (opens in new tab) (potentially rising to £135.5m) in the summer of 2017.

Newcastle have already made a string of impressive signings since their mega-money takeover by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) in the autumn of 2021, among them Bruno Guimaraes and club-record arrival Alexander Isak – who cost roughly £100m combined.

And the Magpies have reaped the rewards on the pitch this term: after 20 games of the campaign, they sit third in the Premier League – having lost just once – and appear well on course to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in two decades.

Ousmane Dembele of France looks on prior to the FIFA World Cup 2022 final between Argentina and France on 18 December, 2022 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.

Dembele featured in all seven games of France's run to the 2022 World Cup final (Image credit: Ulrik Pedersen/Defodi Images via Getty Images)

Adding a player of Dembele's calibre to their attacking armoury would be a real signal of intent from Newcastle – who could well have the edge over Liverpool in any transfer battle, given that the Reds look likely to have to settle for Europa League football at best next season.

As for Barca, they could face a fight to keep hold of Dembele for the second year running: he was technically a free agent for two weeks last summer, before the two parties agreed terms on a new deal until 2024.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...