Barcelona Make U-Turn on Ousmane Dembele Future: Report

Ousmane Dembele

Getty Barcelona want to restart contract talks with Ousmane Dembele.

Ousmane Dembele’s future at Barcelona remains uncertain with the Frenchman out of contract at the end of the 2021-22 campaign and able to walk away from the Camp Nou as a free agent.

Yet Barcelona have made a big decision which could see Dembele staying at the club after all. The Catalan giants have reopened talks with the 24-year-old over a contract extension, as reported by Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN.

Sporting director Mateu Alemany has flown out to Morocco and will stay until Tuesday, April 5 to meet with Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko and try to “negotiate a potential new deal.”

Contract talks between Dembele and Barcelona broke down in the January 2022 transfer window and led to Alemany telling the Frenchman to leave the club “immediately.”

Dembele was also temporarily dropped from the first-team squad but was reinstated by Xavi after the window closed and he remained at the Camp Nou. The forward has since gone on to play a key role for Barca, contributing 10 assists in his last 9 games.

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Xavi Key To Dembele Revival

ESPN report that Xavi “has played a key role in the changing circumstances” surrounding Dembele. The coach has been “impressed by Dembele’s work ethic” and has also “been pushing behind the scenes for the club to extend his terms.”

Xavi did praise Dembele before Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Sevilla last time out in La Liga. The coach was asked about the Frenchman’s future at his pre-match press conference and made his opinion very clear.

“I see him happy, involved in the project. Since I arrived in November he’s been a fantastic professional. It depends on him. He will be a free agent in June and so it’s a question for Ousmane,” he said. “I have a clear opinion. He’s a really talented player. I’ve said it before. If he’s fit he can be the best in the world in his position. He knows our project and he has to agree with the club.”

Camp Nou Gives Dembele Standing Ovation

The Barcelona technical staff are not the only ones to have changed their minds about Dembele. The club’s supporters gave Dembele a standing ovation when he was replaced in the 90th minute against Sevilla.

It’s a stark contrast to just a few short months ago when Dembele was booed and whistled by fans at the Camp Nou. Supporters had been angered by his contract saga and vented their frustrations even though Xavi had urged fans not to jeer.

Dembele has managed to stay fit and consistently impress since returning to the team and looks to be thriving under Xavi. He also appears to have the support of all of his teammates too.

Players including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jordi Alba, and Gerard Pique have all called on Barcelona to renew the Frenchman. However, it’s still not clear if Dembele will be able to find an agreement with the club on a new contract.

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