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Barcelona and Xavi given hope of securing deal for lost cause striker

Barcelona may have given up on persuading Ousmane Dembele to sign a new deal, but one of their January arrivals is not giving up on the Frenchman. As it stands, the wide forward is expected to leave the Catalan club when his contract expires in June.

The La Liga outfit held talks with Dembele’s representatives for a number of months in order to convince him to commit his long-term future to the club. They failed to make a breakthrough, and concluded discussions in December 2021 after realising it was a lost cause when they did not get a response from his agents.

Barcelona were ready to sell the player in January, but interested suitors like Chelsea, Manchester United and Juventus were ready to wait until the summer when he is available on a free transfer. The La Liga club’s president Joan Laporta was unable to explain why Dembele rejected a chance to extend his stay.

Ousmane Dembele
Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The Catalan club signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Arsenal in January, and the Gabon forward shares a close relationship with his former Borussia Dortmund teammate. The 32-year-old has revealed that he has spoken to Dembele since his arrival, and told him to remain at the Camp Nou beyond this summer.

“It is something very special because we had an incredible year in Dortmund and he is an incredible player,” Aubameyang said, as quoted on Barca Blaugranes. “Ousmane is one of the best on the ball and as a striker he is incredible.”

“To tell the truth, I am very happy that he is here and when I arrived I told him: ‘You have to stay, man’,” he added.

“I don’t know, but the only thing I can say is that everything is possible in life,” the former Gunners skipper said when asked if he has convinced Dembele to make a U-turn and sign a new deal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left Arsenal to join Barcelona during the 2022 January transfer window
Shaun Botterill/POOL
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