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Barcelona disappointed by Dembele situation

Barcelona disappointed by Dembele situation

FC Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele during training on Jan 22, 2022. (Photo: Reuters/Albert Gea)

MADRID: Barcelona are disappointed by the situation with forward Ousmane Dembele, who might not play for the club again this season, president Joan Laporta said on Wednesday (Feb 2).

The France international was told to leave before the January transfer window closed after contract negotiations broke down, but he was unable to find another club and will stay at Barca until the end of the campaign.

"We are disappointed," Laporta told a news conference called for the unveiling of new Barcelona signing Adama Traore.

"We have a player (Dembele) with a contract that expires in August and the player is available to the coach, so the coach is the one that will decide if he plays or not," Laporta said.

"But coach Xavi Hernandez is just as surprised as all of us that Dembele did not renew his contract."

The French forward joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 and will be a free agent at the end of this season.

"Our offer expired on Dec 20 and after that there was no other proposal," Laporta said, answering questions about Dembele as he sat next to Traore.

"We saw a lack of interest to renew and accept our offer that was a really good one. We tried to work it out but there were no options available."

Laporta suggested that Dembele had failed to deliver on the potential that made the Spanish club pay €105 million (US$119.11 million) for him, scoring 31 goals in 129 appearances.

"We invested a lot of money and we wanted to see that investment on the pitch more often, but we came up from that a little disappointed," Laporta said.

"The coach will decide, but he needs to think about next season, not only this one."

Source: Reuters/zl

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