After indicating that the club believed him to have an agreement in place with another club yesterday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has spoken about Ousmane Dembélé again today, at the unveiling of new signing Adama Traoré.
The French winger has been at the centre of a protracted contract renewal saga, caused by the gulf between his and his agent’s demands and that of Barcelona’s extension offers.
Transcribed by RMC Sport, Laporta has today indicated that the renewal offer was retracted on December 20, and that the club tried to find Dembélé a new club for the next six months but the former Rennes man turned down the offers.
Nevertheless, Laporta has also opened the door to a return to the squad, with Dembélé having been away from the first-team squad since director Mateu Alemany’s ultimatum earlier this month.
“It’s the manager who decides. […] He has a contract, and if he’s available, the manager will decide. But the coach is aware of the circumstances and is also surprised that the player did not decide to renew. We didn’t understand the players position. We respect his decision but we don’t accept it.”
Laporta then went on to be asked about potentially terminating Dembélé’s contract to which the president replied that “we will study all of the options and I hope to be able to choose the best for the club’s interests.”