Barcelona Forward ‘Is Better Than Kylian Mbappe,’ Says Laporta

Kylian Mbappe

Getty PSG's Kylian Mbappe celebrates.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been full of praise for forward Ousmane Dembele and believes the 24-year-old is even better than Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe.

Dembele’s future is currently the subject of much speculation with the attacker out of contract at the Camp Nou in the summer and yet to renew. Laporta was asked about his future in an interview with TV3 and insisted Dembele does want to continue his career with the club.

“He wants to stay and we want him to stay. I know he wants to stay because we have a good relationship with him,” he said. “What happens is that the agents want the best for the player and we have to show them that the best isn’t just [related] to money. For me, Dembélé is better than Mbappé.”

Laporta’s comments could be construed as a way of trying to put more pressure on Dembele to put pen to paper on a new contract. There’s no doubting Dembele’s talent but he has been plagued by injury since joining Barca from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, as shown by ESPN FC.

Dembele has only made two substitute appearances so far in 2021-22 after returning from knee surgery and then picking up a hamstring problem. However, the Frenchman is expected to feature in Barca’s next La Liga game against Real Betis on Saturday, December 4.

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Dembele’s Agent ‘In No Rush’ To Renew

Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany’s latest meeting with Dembele’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, ended without any agreement, as reported by Santi Ovalle at Cadena SER.

The meeting lasted three hours where Barca were told Dembele wants to stay but his agent is in “no rush” to close a deal. The Frenchman wants a higher salary than what is currently being offered by the Catalan giants.

Barca were also told that Dembele has “very important offers from European teams” but it remains to be seen if the club are willing to raise their offer in a bid to keep hold of the attacker.

Laporta Talks Ferran Torres Rumors

Laporta also discussed rumors that Barca want to sign Ferran Torres from Manchester City. The Barcelona president admitted there is interest in the 21-year-old but once again warned financial problems will be an issue.

“We will try to strengthen the squad, but at the moment we have no salary margin. Therefore, we have to let the football director work to see what possibilities we have,” he explained. “Ferran Torres is one of the players that the football management has focused on and we’ll see how it goes. We have to keep an eye on a lot of issues.”

Barca are in negotiations with City about Torres but talks are “progressing more slowly than desired,” as reported by Diario Sport’s Jordi Carne. The Catalans have “moderate optimism” a deal can be done but may need to offload players first.

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