Dembélé: "Staying was always my first option"
The French winger will continue to be linked to the Barça entity until June 30, 2024
“Staying was always my first option. I know it has been very long, but now we are all happy. I'm looking forward to the season starting. I want to win titles, the League, the Champions... The dream would be the Champions this year and I will give everything to win it." With these words Ousmane Dembélé was dispatched after sealing his continuity at Barça. The French winger, who had a long tug-of-war with the club for months, will continue to wear the Barça shirt until June 30, 2024.
Thus ends the soap opera of the summer, of the year 2022 and part of 2021 in Barcelona. The agreement was an open secret for days and, in fact, the footballer already trained this week under the orders of Xavi Hernández, the main supporter of the continuity of a player who was even removed in January for his high claims financially, but who has finally given his arm to twist to stay at the club he arrived at in the summer of 2017 as a replacement for the Brazilian Neymar.
Barça announced the renewal of the Frenchman through a video posted on their social networks in which the footballer could be seen erasing on a blackboard the number of 2022 as the end date of his contract to label the new one: 2024. «Now yes , Força Barça », the Frenchman proclaimed in the recording. A way of expressing his intention to wipe the slate clean after the numerous disagreements with the board that have occurred over the last few months.
“I am very happy about the renewal. Barcelona has been the club of my dreams since I was little. I'm very happy. I'm looking forward to the start of the season to give it my all. In the club there are many people who helped me. The first three years were very difficult, now I feel good with the team, with the city and I have the confidence of the coach", explained shortly after a smiling Dembélé for whom Joan Laporta had gestures of complicity on the lawn of the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper, a place chosen to stage a reconciliation that seemed impossible not so long ago.
“I am very happy about the renewal. Barcelona has been the club of my dreams since I was little."
«I have an admiration for the quality of Dembélé as a player and person. Today is a very important day for Barça. I want to thank him, very especially, because he has always wanted to stay and has made an effort to enter the new salary structure due to the circumstances. He has an extraordinary, incomparable talent, he is very specific and he contributes a lot to us », asserted the maximum president of the culé.
Dembélé accepts a salary reduction of 40% compared to what he received in his previous contract. In this way, the '7' could get to collect a maximum of ten million euros net if he manages to comply with each and every one of the variables that Barcelona has put in his new contract. For this, the Mosquito will have to leave behind the irregularity that he has shown throughout the five seasons he has been at Can Barça and his long history of injuries with the Barça shirt.
Tug of war
Dembélé's 'renewal' comes after a push and pull that has lasted more than half a year. Moussa Sissoko, the player's representative, stood out last December with unbearable claims for the culé club. He asked for 45 million euros as a bonus and a salary of 15 net kilos. Barça did not contemplate this possibility and from that very moment they stuck to the 40% salary reduction, something that Sissoko did not like and ended up with the player first removed and then reinstated by Xavi for the second half of the championship waiting for his future was resolved.
«He has always wanted to stay and has made an effort to enter the new salary structure due to the circumstances. He has an extraordinary talent, incomparable, he is very specific and brings us a lot »
Those last six months have played an important role in the footballer's decision. Dembélé has not had offers according to Sissoko's claims and has found at the beginning of the preseason that he had in his hand a new opportunity to shine in Xavi's project. With the one from Tarrasa, the former Borussia Dortmund player recovered his best physical tone, became a starter on the far right to the detriment of Adama Traoré and was one of the engines of Barça's comeback at the beginning of the year. He finished the course with thirteen assists, more than anyone in the entire League, and showed that he could be an important piece for the future culé. That is what is expected of him from now on at the Camp Nou.
The continuity of Dembélé adds to the
signing of Raphinha, with whom the Frenchman will have to compete for a position on the right wing of the offensive trident. With these two reinforcements, Xavi would have that flank covered, a demarcation that he considered crucial for the style of play that he intends to implement. Barça's next steps in the market are Lewandowski and Bernardo Silva in the arrivals section and Frenkie de Jong in the departures section. The operation of the Dutchman and that of the Portuguese are communicating vessels, while in the case of the Pole, Joan Laporta assured last week that the club is awaiting Bayern's response to the latest offer made.