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Ousmane Dembélé

Dembele played well like many other players after a better contract, says Cruyff, with new Barcelona deal 'not easy'

12:42 GMT+3 14/03/2022
Ousmane Dembele Barcelona vs Osasuna La Liga 2021-22
The Frenchman has rediscovered his best form since failing to secure a January transfer, but is still set to become a free agent in the summer

Barcelona technical director Jordi Cruyff suggested Ousmane Dembele's latest stellar showing for Barcelona against Osasuna could be typical of any player "looking for a better contract", while admitting that agreeing on a new deal for the winger is "not easy".

Dembele appeared destined to leave Barca in January as club president Joan Laporta suggested his wage demands were too high and that he would be sold if the club received a suitable offer.

The Blaugrana ultimately missed their last chance to cash in on the 24-year-old before he becomes a free agent in June, and he has since worked his way back into Xavi's plans.

What's been said?

Dembele was back in Barca's starting XI against Osasuna on Sunday, and laid on two assists as they romped to a 4-0 victory.

Cruyff was impressed with the Frenchman's latest display, but does not think his recent upturn in form has changed his situation at the club.

"The situation regarding Dembele's renewal is not easy," Cruyff told SPORT after the game. "I think the most important thing is that he continues to help the team and we will see what happens with the rest.

"He has played a good game, like many players who are ending their contract with the future already decided and others who are looking for a better contract.

"We hope that he continues helping the team to achieve the maximum objectives and the rest we cannot control."

Dembele's revival

Dembele initially returned to action for Barca in a 2-2 draw with Espanyol on February 13, and has also appeared in their subsequent seven games across all competitions.

The World Cup winner has contributed one goal and five assists during that period, helping the club progress in the Europa League and rise back up to third in the Liga standings.

Laporta even performed a u-turn by suggesting that Dembele could still commit to fresh terms with Barca at the start of the month.

The Barca president confirmed he won't have the final say on his contract, though, telling reporters: "Dembele knows our offer and knows that we always wanted him to stay. We hope he will think again at the end of the season.

In football, you can never rule anything out. Look, he could not play and now he plays, and he plays well. But his contract extension does not depend on me.”

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