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Dembele contract ‘rumour mill’ starts again at Barcelona after being linked with ‘200 different clubs’

1:54 PM GMT+4 13/12/2022
Ousmane Dembele Barcelona 2022-23
Ousmane Dembele’s future at Barcelona is generating plenty of debate once again, with the Liga giants eager to avoid another “rumour mill”.
  • France international hit free agency in 2022
  • Agreed short-term extension at Camp Nou
  • Another decision approaching on long-term future

WHAT HAPPENED? The World Cup-winning France international briefly hit free agency in the summer of 2022 before agreeing a two-year contract extension at Camp Nou. That deal is now running down and, having previously been linked with “200 different clubs”, Barca are reluctant to be dragged into another long-running saga regarding the intentions of a talented 25-year-old forward.

WHAT THEY SAID: Jordi Cruyff, who is now sporting director of the Catalan heavyweights, has told Mundo Deportivo when quizzed on Dembele’s future and the chances of a new long-term deal being agreed: “It was a negotiation but according to the press he had signed with 200 different clubs and in the end the player always communicated that his wish was to stay at Barca. And in the end he was left as a free player and having all the strength to decide where he wanted to play. And he decided to stay at Barcelona. It doesn't make sense to activate the rumour mill again because he has decided to continue knowing that the club was not in a fantastic situation, that there is this new salary scale and he agreed to be within it. We are delighted with life and above all because he showed enormous commitment to Xavi and also to the club because he had no shortage of offers, surely higher than Barcelona's, and he stayed. We value this very much and I think it would be important to listen to his opinion when he speaks rather than follow the rumour mill that is sometimes created.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Dembele has endured his fair share of form and fitness issues since joining Barca from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, but he is up to 170 appearances for the club and has recorded 37 goals and 41 assists across those outings.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Dembele is currently looking to become a two-time world champion, as France ready themselves for a semi-final showdown with Morocco at Qatar 2022, while Barcelona will be back in action when taking in a derby date with Espanyol on December 31.