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'He has to defend the shirt' - Alves urges Barca and Dembele to coexist after failed January transfer

23:47 GMT+3 04/02/2022
Ousmane Dembele Barcelona
The fullback says the dressing room needs to stay united going forward

Dani Alves believes both Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele need to take advantage of the winger still being at the club after the January transfer window.

Dembele was widely expected to leave Barca, with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Chelsea all reported to have been closely monitoring his situation.

But despite being openly left out of Barca's team, Dembele stayed on, with Barca president Joan Laporta saying he believes the Frenchman has a free transfer agreement lined up.

What was said?

Despite the frustration surrounding Dembele's future, Alves has urged all involved to try and get along for the benefit of the club.

“This kind of thing happens in football, but as long as he stays at Barca, he has to defend the shirt," Alves told Movistar. "If it goes until the end of the season, then look, but there are still five months left. 

"You have to take advantage of being here. You have to be smart about the situation. We have to think intelligently and take advantage of the fact that we have the player. 

"We need unity of the entire dressing room. You have to create a healthy environment of positivity, in which there are no bad vibes. 

"If everyone contributes their own, Barca will come back. That is everyone's goal."

Dembele's Barca career

Dembele joined Barca from Dortmund in 2017 but has struggled to maintain a regular spot with the team due to a series of injuries.

Dembele has made just 129 appearances in all competitions over his four and a half years with the team and is widely expected to leave the club this summer upon the expiration of his contract.

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