Dembele may still renew Barcelona contract, says vice-president Yuste

By Sports Desk March 22, 2022

Ousmane Dembele may yet sign a new contract with Barcelona after going from strength to strength under head coach Xavi, according to the club's vice-president Rafa Yuste.

France international Dembele was informed by Barca director Mateu Alemany to leave the club "immediately" in January after repeatedly turning down the offer of a new deal.

The 24-year-old was linked with a number of heavyweight clubs in the most recent transfer window, but a move away from Camp Nou did not materialise before the deadline.

Dembele has since been integrated back into the side by Xavi and is once again a key player for Barca now that his injury issues appear to be behind him.

It looked certain the former Borussia Dortmund forward would leave on a free transfer at the end of the campaign, but Yuste is not ruling anything out.

"As you know, negotiations did not bear fruit on their day, but Xavi tells us he is an exceptional player and he contributes a lot to the club," Yuste told Catalunya Radio.

"I think Xavi is doing fundamental work, including psychologically, because Dembele is better understanding the system. It's clear Xavi is a reference for the players.

"If he feels more and more comfortable, which I think will be the case, I do not rule out that we can meet with his agent again with the possibility of him continuing with us."

 

Dembele set up two goals for Barcelona in Sunday's stunning 4-0 win over fierce rivals Real Madrid as Barca made it 12 games without defeat in all competitions.

He is the second Barca player to provide two assists in the first half of a Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu this century, after Xavi in May 2009.
 
That double took Dembele to seven LaLiga assists in 2022 – at least two more than any other player – to go with his strike against Athletic Bilbao.

Those seven assists have come from an expected assists (xA) return of 3.6, which is the biggest positive differential of any player in the Spanish top flight this calendar year.

While tying down Dembele to fresh terms is now back on the agenda for Barca, the club are also continuing to work on new deals for Gavi and Ronald Araujo.

"We are working on this to the maximum, within our possibilities," Yuste said. "The manager is optimistic about the situation. They are all happy, which makes negotiations easier."

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