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Ousmane Dembele: France forward 'won't give in to blackmail' as Barcelona tell him to leave

By BBC
Football News Ousmane Dembele: France forward 'won't give in to blackmail' as Barcelona tell him to leave
JAN 20, 2022 LISTEN

Ousmane Dembele says he will "not give in to blackmail" after Barcelona said the France forward must leave in the January transfer window.

The Spanish giants' director of football Mateu Alemany said on Thursday that the 24-year-old wanted to leave.

Dembele is out of contract in the summer and is yet to sign a new deal at Barcelona.

"From today it finishes," he said on Instagram, referring to "gossip" surrounding him in recent years.

"From today I am going to reply honestly, without giving in to any kind of blackmail.

"I forbid anyone from thinking I am not committed to the sporting project. I forbid anyone from attributing intentions to me that I have never had."

Dembele joined Barca from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 in a deal worth up to £135.5m but will be able to leave for nothing when his contract expires.

Barcelona manager Xavi has already warned Dembele he must sign a new contract or leave the Spanish side.

Alemany said the club supports Xavi and agrees it is "absolutely the correct approach", with lengthy contract talks failing to reach an agreement.

"With Ousmane and his agent we began [contract] conversations around July so it's been six months and a bit," Alemany said.

"We've talked, we've talked, we've talked. Barca has made different offers.

"We've tried to find a way for the player to continue with us but these offers have been systematically rejected by his agents.

"In this scenario, he and his agents have been informed that he must leave immediately because we want players committed to this project and therefore we hope that a transfer will take place before January 31."

The deal to sign Dembele was, at the time, the second most expensive transfer ever, but his career at the Nou Camp has been hampered by injuries.

He has been linked with a host of clubs, including Manchester United, Newcastle and Liverpool.

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