Adama Traore’s future is up in the air with Barcelona currently unwilling to buy him permanently from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Spain international Traore, 26, returned to Camp Nou on loan in January and Barcelona can make the move permanent for £25million in July. The deal appeared to be a formality in February after Traore’s superb start under Xavi saw him register four assists in his first six matches.
But Traore’s first-team opportunities have been limited since, and he has played just 31 minutes in La Liga since February. The main reason Traore has been sidelined by Xavi is the return to form and favor of contract rebel Ousmane Dembele.
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Barcelona ended contract talks with Dembele in January and he was later dropped from Xavi’s starting line-up. Traore was seen as Dembele’s long-term replacement at Camp Nou.
But Traore may no longer be needed after all, with Barcelona growing increasingly confident that a resolution to the contractual impasse with Dembele can be found before his contract expires in June. Xavi hopes Dembele will sign after eight assists in his last nine games.
Speaking recently, Xavier said: “For me, Ousmane is a very important player. I hope he stays. They are players who are very important for me and for Barca. Gavi, (Ronald) Araujo, Dembele. If we can get them the next year we will be a better team and a better team for sure.”
Now Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored eight goals since joining Barcelona at the same time as Traore, has told the club to do everything in their power to extend Dembele’s contract. Former Arsenal striker Aubameyang said: “He must stay.”
Barcelona’s chances – still financially struggling, according to president Joan Laporta – of splashing out on Traore if Dembele extends his contract are incredibly slim. Wolves could then be forced to move Traore elsewhere as he enters the final 12 months of his contract at Molineux.