Dembele is out of contract at the Camp Nou in the summer and is refusing to sign a new contract unless the Spaniards meet his expectations of €40m per year in wages.
His situation has seen a host of top clubs showing interest in the possibility of signing him, including Premier League pair Newcastle and Tottenham; Fabio Paratici is keen to present him to Antonio Conte, while the Magpies stand ready to strike.
Now Barcelona, who have offered Dembele between €20m and €25m a year, are getting tough, according to French outlet Foot Mercato.
The Catalan giants have informed Dembele that if he does not sign the new contract then he will spend the rest of the season in the stands, a situation which is far from ideal for the 24-year-old.
It is claimed that coach Xavi has spoken directly to Dembele and made the club’s position clear, urging him to sign to avoid having to be excluded from the team.
Barcelona are keen for Dembele to sign the new contract and if he refuses then the only way to secure playing time for the second half of the season is likely to be a move away this month.
Any club wishing to sign Dembele though will need to dig deep on the salary front as the player’s agent is clear on how much he feels his client is worth.