Ousmane Dembele told to leave Barcelona as contract stand-off reaches breaking point

1 year ago 96
Ousmane Dembele Barcelona Getty Images

Ousmane Dembele has been told to leave Barcelona immediately after he was dropped from the squad for their meeting with Athletic Club.

Dembele was informed by Xavi on Wednesday that he would have to depart Camp Nou unless he signed a new contract.

The winger is not willing to pen fresh terms, director of football Mateu Alemany revealed on Thursday, paving the way for the Frenchman to depart.

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Dembele, who arrived in 2017, has struggled throughout his Barcelona career, mostly with injuries, which have left the 24-year-old having played just one-third of Barcelona's minutes since his arrival. 

What's did Barcelona say about Dembele?

Alemany said at a press conference ahead of the Copa del Rey meeting with Athletic Club: "With Ousmane and his agents we started conversations around the month of July.

"In all this time, almost seven months, we have talked, Barca has made different offers, we have tried to find a way for the player to continue with us and those offers have been continuously rejected by his agents. It seems obvious to us that the player does not want to continue at Barcelona and is not committed to Barca's future project.

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"We told him and his agents that he must leave the club immediately because we want to have players committed to the project. We expect a transfer to take place before January 31. The sporting consequence is that we don't want to have players who don't want to be at Barca.

"The fact that he was not in the [squad] list for today is the consequence of this whole process. The coach has our full support, it's a consistent attitude."

Sure enough, the Barca squad list for the meeting with their Liga rivals was then revealed on social media, with Dembele absent from the 22-man party.

What next for Dembele?

Dembele has spent the last four-and-a-half seasons at Camp Nou, having initially joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for $164 million in 2017, but now only has six months left to run on his contract.

Barca have been trying to tie the 24-year-old down for several months but there has been no sign of a final agreement being reached, with Xavi warning the winger that he was running out of time to make a decision.

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"The message is clear. Ousmane Dembele has to sign a new contract or we find a way to sell him in January. No other way," Xavi said in a press conference on January 19. "It is not contemplated that he stays in the stands. I have been very clear with Ousmane."

Just a day later, it appears a decision has been made.

There have been precious few rumors with Dembele's name linked to other clubs, and his injury history will hurt in transfer negotiations, but Chelsea has reportedly shown interest and made contact with Barcelona over the possiblity of a winter signing.


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