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Sources: Barcelona target Wolves' Traore

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Published in Soccer
Wednesday, 26 January 2022 11:33

Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Adama Traore has emerged as a January target for Barcelona, but any deal is linked to Ousmane Dembele's situation at the club, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

Dembele, 24, is in the final six months of his contract with Barca and has still not signed an extension, with the club last week telling the France international to find a new club before the end of the month as the relationship soured.

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However, as first revealed by Diario Sport, sources have told ESPN that Dembele's agent, Moussa Sissoko, met with Barca coach Xavi Hernandez and sporting advisor Jordi Cruyff on Wednesday.

In the meeting, Sissoko insisted that the player's intention, if possible, is still to renew at Camp Nou, where there is a five-year contract offer on the table. Barca hope for a decision either way before the end of the month.

Any business Barca can do in the final week of the transfer window is largely dependent on Dembele. They do not have enough room within their LaLiga-imposed salary cap to register new signings.

If Dembele signs a new deal, the Blaugrana will be able to spread out the remaining amortisation payments on his transfer fee and backload his salary, making room on their wage bill. If he leaves, salary space will also be freed up.

ESPN previously revealed that Barca were pursuing a deal for striker Alvaro Morata, but with less than a week to go in the window, sources have said a move is looking unlikely, given there needs to be an agreement with Juventus and Atletico Madrid, who have loaned him to the Italian side until the end of the season.

Therefore, Barca have turned their attention to Traore after Xavi asked for more reinforcements in attack following an injury to Ansu Fati. Tottenham Hotspur have also tried to sign the Wolves winger this month.

Sources told ESPN earlier this month that the London club held talks over a €20 million move for Traore, who came through Barca's La Masia academy before making four appearances for the first team.

Traore, 26, left Barca for Aston Villa in 2015 and has since played for Middlesbrough and Wolves, earning international recognition with Spain along the way.

He has 18 months left on his contract and Wolves are ready to cash in on a player who sees his future elsewhere. The Premier League side have a good relationship with Barca, having previously signed Nelson Semedo and Francisco Trincao from the Catalan club.

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