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Barcelona president Laporta on potential Dembele transfer: We haven't heard that Ousmane wants to stay

21:09 GMT+3 26/03/2022
Ousmane Dembele Barcelona
The striker is back at full fitness and starring for the Catalans again - but his contract is in its final months

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is pleased with Ousmane Dembele's recent upturn in form, but affirmed that if there has been any change in the forward's future plans it would be news to him.

Dembele is out of contract in June after five volatile, injury-interrupted seasons at Camp Nou.

But the French forward is now showing exactly what he is capable of on the field when fit, raising speculation that he could yet sign a new deal with Barca.

What was said?

"At the present time, on our part, we have not heard that [Dembele] wants to stay on," Laporta signalled to Mundo Deportivo.

"I don't know if his agent has been in touch but I don't think so, because I would know, and we are focused first and foremost on this final stage of La Liga to try and win it.

"At the end of the season I suppose there may be some sort of talks but inside the salary limits we are setting."

Could Dembele stay at Barca?

Dembele once more suffered from injury woes at the start of 2021-22, featuring in none of Barca's first 14 Liga matches due to hamstring and knee issues.

But he has come into his own since the start of the year, particularly when it comes to laying on chances for his team-mates, and has struck up a fine partnership with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front.

The forward has scored one and assisted a further seven goals in his last five league games, all of which ended in victories for the Catalans; and Laporta will not rule out the possibility of his staying past the current term.

"I do not like to talk about hypotheticals," he added.

"[If Dembele decides to open talks] we are open people and we like Dembele a lot, I have said it from the start and I have often made it very clear how much we appreciate him.

"Also, now he is getting on really well with Aubameyang and [Samuel] Umtiti, there is a good atmosphere and he looks happy after every game. He gets on great with Auba and that is fantastic."

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