Football News

Xavi disappointed with Ousmane Dembele’s desire to leave Barcelona for PSG

By Harry Edwards

Published: 10:51, 2 August 2023

Barcelona manager Xavi has expressed his disappointment at winger Ousmane Dembele’s desire to leave the club for Paris Saint-Germain.

Fresh off the back of winning La Liga last season, Barcelona have been looking to bolster their squad to be able to compete in the Champions League and avoid another group stage elimination. They have so far added to their midfield with Ilkay Gundogan and Oriel Romeu, while Inigo Martinez has joined the rank of defenders. But they have also lost some big names in Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, as well as Samuel Umtiti.

There appears to be another outgoing on the cards very soon too, with PSG reportedly triggering Dembele’s release clause of €50m, which was put into his latest contract renewal in a big drop from the initial €400m.


When he first signed for Barcelona in 2017 from Borussia Dortmund, Dembele was expected to be the future of the club, playing alongside and then potentially replacing the output of Lionel Messi — as best as a normal human could. But the Frenchman really hasn’t hit the heights due to injuries, misuse and some self-inflicted setbacks early on in his career.

There was a point that Dembele looked to have returned to his best, particularly under Xavi, recording 20 assists across the past two La Liga campaigns at an average of 0.64 per 90 minutes. But the Frenchman is on his way out, no only due to PSG triggering his release clause, but also having told Barcelona about his desire to leave — something which has disappointed his manager.

“Dembele has told us that he wants to leave,” Xavi told reporters.

“I am a little disappointed. He has a proposal from PSG and we can’t do anything. We can’t compete with the proposal made to him from France. This is the market.

“Footballers who do not want to be at Barça, they have to be let go.”

It’s a decision that also hasn’t gone down well with former Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba, who left the club for Inter Miami this summer. “It tastes bad because he is a differential player,” Alba told Sport.

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“I have not spoken to anyone from Barca about it, I only know what has come out in the press, but I would love him to stay.”

Xavi also admitted that Barcelona will now need to look to strengthen themselves once again having lost a potentially key man in attack.

He added: “We had a stage prepared for this possible loss and now we have to strengthen ourselves. Ousmane’s loss weakens us.”