Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has emphasized that Ousmane Dembele is an important member of the team and hopes that the French winger decides to sign a contract extension before the end of his current deal. Dembele’s current deal ends in the summer and he could leave on a free transfer.
Ousmane Dembele established himself as one of the best young prospects in European football during his stint with Borussia Dortmund in Germany. The Frenchman's impressive performances attracted the attention of several top European clubs with Barcelona pulling the trigger in sealing the deal as they paid a reported fee of €105 million-plus a reported €40 million add-ons.
The 24-year-old has failed to make the desired consistent impact for the Catalan club so far due to various injury troubles and disciplinary issues. The French winger has made 139 appearances for the Blaugrana while scoring 32 goals and registering 30 assists across all competitions.
Dembele has helped the Spanish giants claim two La Liga titles, and two Copa del Rey Cups during his time at the club so far. The French winger’s current deal at the Camp Nou expires in the summer and talks over a new deal have reached a deadlock.
It is widely expected that the former Dortmund winger will depart the club although Blaugrana coach Xavi hopes that the 24-year-old changes his mind.
"I hope he can stay with us. I have already said it and I have no problem repeating it again. He can be the best in the world in his position. The club is working for the present and the future. Ousmane is an important footballer and I hope he decides to stay. I'd sign his new contract immediately,” Xavi told reporters in a press conference.
"I can only speak since I took charge and he is being exemplary in how he trains, his attitude, commitment and his involvement. I don't know how he was before but I see him motivated, happy and with a very winning character. It's not a surprise that he'd come to training on his day off. He's a great professional,” he added.