Ousmane Dembélé told to leave Barcelona by end of transfer window

Ousmane Dembélé has been told to leave Barcelona immediately. The Frenchman has been left out of the squad to face Athletic Club on Thursday night with the director of football, Mateu Alemany, announcing that they intend to move him on before the transfer window closes on 31 January and suggesting that he will not play for them again. That came after the coach Xavi Hernández delivered a public ultimatum on Wednesday night: renew or go.

Dembélé has six months remaining on his contract and has failed to reach an agreement on a new deal. The club have concluded that the 24-year-old has no intention of continuing beyond the summer, despite Xavi saying Dembélé had said he wanted to stay. Now they want to force a departure. If he does not leave now, he faces the prospect of spending the next six months left in the stands and the club have even investigated the possibility of rescinding his contract. Barcelona need to shed his salary if they are to bring in players.

“Vandag, 20 Januarie, met 11 days left in the last window before the end of his contract, it is obvious that the player does not want to continue and is not committed to our future,” Alemany said. “In that scenario, he and his agents have been informed that he should leave immediately because we want players who are committed to our project. Therefore, we hope to transfer him before 31 Januarie.

“We started conversations with Ousmane and his agents back in July, more or less. In all this time, these six or seven months, we have spoken, we have had dialogue, we have made various offers. We looked at ways that he could stay with us. All those offers were turned down by his agents. The fact that he is not in the squad is no more than a consequence of this whole process.

“The conclusion in sporting terms, as evaluated by the coaching staff, is that we don’t want players who are not committed. It’s not the club that takes this decision – the coach does – but he has all our support and we think it is an entirely coherent decision.”

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