Ousmane Dembelé: the player that Barcelona paid 160 million dollars… to fire him for bad attitude

In August 2017 Barcelona lost Neymar. PSG paid 250 million dollars for his pass and he left a void that he sought to fill quickly to accompany Lionel Messi. He went looking for an emerging 19-year-old French attacker, who emerged in Rennes, and who was beginning to attract attention at Borussia Dortmund. The Catalan club had money to spare, but also desperation to erase the fiasco that the departure of the Brazilian star meant. The Germans took advantage, took the negotiation to the limit of the absurd and succeeded: the Spanish paid 160 million dollars for Ousmane Dembelé. Now, the azulgrana team had no more than take on what is probably the biggest flop in history and decided take the lead.

In the middle of his fifth season, with recurring injuries that took him off the field again and again, and with a listless attitude at times, Dembelé barely allowed 18 goals in 58 games in the League. In other words, his average was 3 goals and 12 games per year, with an annual contract of 11.5 million dollars. Counting all competitions, he played 129 games, with 31 wins. What is said a defective business.

Ousmane Dembele has given very little to Barcelona in the last five years; between the pass and the contract, the club paid more than 200 million dollars for himAngel Fernandez – AP

Now, Demebelé, 24, has reached the end of his contract (it ends in June this year) and he leaves without even leaving a euro in the club. Barcelona’s director of football, Mateu Alemany, stated that “he must leave immediately” after not accepting the renewal offers that were offered to him.

“It seems obvious to us that the player does not want to continue at Barcelona and is not committed to Barça’s future project, in this scenario he and his agents have been told that he must leave immediately,” Mateu Alemany told the media. of the Barça club.

The director of Barcelona recalled: “Since July we have talked, we have dialogued… Barça has made different offers, they have tried to find a way for the player to continue with us”.

“These offers have been systematically rejected by his agents,” said Alemany, who deduces from these rejections that the player does not want to continue at the club.

Dembelé never achieved continuity in Barcelona: due to injuries, but also due to his inconstancy
Dembelé never achieved continuity in Barcelona: due to injuries, but also due to his inconstancyJORGE GUERRERO – AFP

“We want players committed to this project and therefore we hope that a transfer will take place before January 31, when the market closes,” said Alemany.

The player has not been summoned “by technical decision” for this afternoon’s match for the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey, in Bilbao.

We do not want to have players who are not committed to the project and who do not want to be here. That he has not been summoned is nothing more than a consequence of this whole process, ”explained Alemany.

For the Barça manager, the decision to leave Dembélé in Barcelona is the power of coach Xavi Hernández, but “he has all our support, our support and we understand it perfectly, it seems to us an absolutely coherent attitude”, added the Barça manager.

Xavi had already shown some weariness with the Dembélé case on Wednesday at the press conference prior to the match against Athletic Bilbao. “The message is clear: either one solution or another, or renew or seek an exit solution for the player, we have no other”, the Barca coach had stated.

“It has been impossible to give him more confidence, he has played every possible minute since I became a coach”, added Xavi, who has always opted for the French winger since his arrival at the team.

Dembelé won the 2018 World Cup in Russia with France, but his participation was secondary;  just like in Barcelona
Dembelé won the 2018 World Cup in Russia with France, but his participation was secondary; just like in BarcelonaPAU BARRENA – AFP

But as a club man, the Barça coach also stated: “We have reached a point where we have to decide. The player should also think a bit about the team, about the club”.

According to the Spanish press, Dembélé and his agent would have put on the table exorbitant financial claims for a team that is still under financial stress. The player’s agent would have demanded “200 million euros for a five-year contract, plus a 40 million renewal bonus (20 for Dembélé and 20 for the manager)”, according to the Catalan newspaper Sport.

Xavi affirms that the player has shown him his desire to stay, but the statements to the media by his representative Moussa Sissoko seem to go in the opposite direction. When asked about the reason for this apparent divergence, Xavi stated: “I also ask myself that question, it’s a question for him”.

AFP Agency