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

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

Dembélé was informed by Xavi on Wednesday that he would have to leave the Camp Nou unless he signed a new contract.

The winger is unwilling to sign new terms, director of football Mateu Alemany revealed on Thursday, paving the way for the Frenchman’s departure.

Dembele, who arrived in 2017, has struggled throughout his Barcelona career, mainly through injuries, which have left the 24-year-old playing just a third of Barcelona’s minutes since his arrival.

What did Barcelona say about Dembélé?

Alemany said at a press conference prior to the Copa del Rey meeting with Athletic Club: “With Ousmane and his agents we began conversations around the month of July.

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

“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 31st. The sporting consequence is that we don’t want to have players that I don’t want to be at Barça.

“The fact that he wasn’t 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, Barça’s squad for the meeting with their La Liga rivals was revealed on social media, with Dembélé absent from the 22-man party.

What’s next for Dembélé?

Dembélé has spent the last four and a half seasons at the Camp Nou, having initially joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for $164m in 2017, but now has just six months left on his contract.

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

“The message is clear. Ousmane Dembélé has to sign a new contract or we find a way to sell him in January. There is no other way,” Xavi told a news conference on January 19. “It is not contemplated that it stays in the supports. I have been very clear with Ousmane”.

Only one day later, it seems that a decision has been made.

There have been very few rumors with Dembélé’s name linked to other clubs, and his injury history will affect transfer negotiations, but Chelsea have supposedly showed interest and contacted Barcelona about the possibility of a winter transfer.