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Joan Laporta issues update on Ousmane Dembele future

Joan Laporta issues update on Ousmane Dembele future
© Reuters
Barcelona president Joan Laporta says that there is 'no deadline' for Ousmane Dembele to decide his future.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has insisted that there is 'no deadline' for Ousmane Dembele to decide his future, with the attacker now officially a free agent.

The France international's contract at Camp Nou expired at the end of June, and his future is currently the subject of much speculation, with Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain said to be keeping a close eye on the situation.

Dembele allegedly wants double the €6m (£5.2m) salary that has been placed on the table, but Barcelona are not believed to be prepared to raise their offer due to their current financial issues.

A recent report claimed that the Barcelona board were divided on the approach that should be taken, with some in favour of removing the offer, while others are keen to leave it on the table.

Laporta has hinted that the Catalan side will not be raising their offer, meaning that it will be up to Dembele whether he wants to re-join the club this summer or seek pastures new.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta during the press conference on February 1, 2022© Reuters

"He is a person that we appreciate very much," Mundo Deportivo quotes Laporta as saying. "He has played at a very high level in the second half of the season and the coach is very satisfied with him.

"It is an economic question, he has answered us without saying 'yes' or a 'no'. We maintain a good relationship with the player and there is communication with the agents. If he accepts the conditions that we have presented, he will continue, if not, then no.

"We don't set deadlines for anything, not for signings, not for levers or anything. Now that we've activated the first lever, we've released quite a bit of pressure. We are working hard, both for players and levers."

According to the Daily Mail, Barcelona met with Dembele's agent Moussa Sissoko on Saturday to discuss the proposed new contract for the World Cup winner.

The report claims that all parties are now confident that an agreement can be reached once the minor details have been addressed, while director of football Mateu Alemany must also sign off on the deal.

Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele pictured on January 22, 2022© Reuters

The 25-year-old is believed to be keen to remain at Barcelona, but he has been pushing for a more lucrative deal due to his importance to the side.

Dembele enjoyed a productive 2021-22 campaign despite some injury issues, scoring twice and providing 13 assists in 32 appearances in all competitions.

Meanwhile, the Frenchman has scored 32 goals and registered 34 assists in 149 appearances for his current side since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017.

Barcelona initially told Dembele to leave in January after he refused to sign a new deal, but the former Rennes youngster stayed at the club and managed to work his way back into the side in the second half of the season.

Manchester United, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Liverpool are among the clubs to be linked with the attacker over the last 12 months, but Chelsea would allegedly be at the head of the queue to sign him on a free transfer if Dembele decided to reject the offer from Barcelona.

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Ousmane Dembele in action for Barcelona in February 2022
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