Ousmane Dembele is told to LEAVE Barcelona ‘as soon as possible’ after being left out of squad to face Athletic Bilbao… with director of football Mateu Alemany insisting: ‘We want players that are committed’
- Ousmane Dembele is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season
- He has been in talks over new deal for months but no agreement has been found
- Barcelona have now excluded him from their squad over the contract impasse
- France international has been told to leave the club ‘as soon as possible’
Ousmane Dembele has been told to leave Barcelona ‘as soon as possible’ after the contract rebel’s hesitancy in signing a reduced new deal.
The 24-year-old Frenchman has been in talks over a new deal, and has not signed one despite having a new contract offer on the table for a number of weeks.
Barcelona have grown increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress on the deal and currently stand to lose him on a free transfer at the end of this season.
Contract rebel Ousmane Dembele has been told to leave Barcelona ‘as soon as possible’
The 24-year-old has refused to commit to a new deal despite months of negotiations
But the club have now taken action after confirming that he is not part of the squad that has travelled to Athletic Bilbao for their round of 16 Copa del Rey clash on Thursday evening.
Sporting director Mateu Alemany slammed Dembele for a lack of commitment to the club and confirmed talks with his representatives started back in July.
‘We understand Dembele’s decision is to not continue (at Barça) and we’ve communicated our decision (to leave him out),’ Alemany said.
‘We want players that are committed to the club and we have told him he has to leave the club as soon as possible.
‘We started talks in July. We have made several offers, which were all rejected. He has been told that he must leave the club, he is not committed to the project.’
Director of football Mateu Alemany slammed Dembele’s commitment to the Catalan giants
The 24-year-old has reportedly demanded a ‘crazy’ salary package worth up to €80million (£66.9m), following months of contract negotiations.
But the Catalan giants are not currently in a position to offer Dembele an improved contract due to their bloated wage bill.
However, Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko stressed that the impasse was not down to financial disagreements, but instead as a result of Barcelona manager Xavi’s poor management style, which he openly criticised last week.
Reports had also suggested Dembele was given just 48 hours to sign a reduced deal.
Sissoko said: ‘They’re putting the pressure on, but it doesn’t work with people like us. Maybe it works with agents who are close to Barcelona. That’s not the case with me, I’m here to defend my player’s interests.
He confirmed Dembele has not travelled with Xavi (centre) and his side to face Athletic Bilbao
‘We’re not here to react to debates on social media, but the truth has to be said. Yes, we have high demands, but we’ve shown in the past that Ousmane’s career choices are not dictated by money, else he wouldn’t be here [Manchester United and Real Madrid had higher offers in 2017].
‘Then, if Barcelona wanted to negotiate, they could have come to the table with us to talk.
‘Except there are no discussions and there are threats coming from them that he won’t play.
‘That’s not allowed. We will exercise Ousmane Dembele’s rights if necessary.
‘We don’t know what we’re going to do, nothing is decided. But the management are losing Ousmane by themselves.
Alemany also said the club has been in talks with Dembele’s representatives since July
‘From the start, we’ve shown that we wanted to negotiate, with terms, but without closing the door.’
Dembele originally joined Barcelona in 2017 from German side Borussia Dortmund for £96million.
Since making the move to Spain, the Frenchman has struggled to maintain fitness and live up to the hefty price-tag, making just 87 La Liga appearances at the club with only six starts so far this season.
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