Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted that the Spanish club wants Ousmane Dembele to extend his tenure at the Camp Nou by signing a new deal but acknowledges that the Frenchman is tempted by betters offers from elsewhere. The French winger’s current deal expires in the summer.
Barcelona signed Ousmane Dembele in the summer of 2017 for a fee of €105 million-plus a reported €40 million in add-ons. The French winger was the most exciting prospect in European football and Barcelona looked to the World Cup winner to spearhead their future for the next decade.
It hasn’t gone according to plan for Dembele as his time at Camp Nou has been hampered by injuries and disciplinary issues. Nevertheless, the Frenchman has been in sensational form for the Blaugrana as he tops La Liga's assist charts with 13 assists in just 20 games in the top-flight of Spanish football.
The 25-year-old’s contract with the Catalan club expires in the summer and Barcelona have put a contract extension on the table as they want to keep him at the club. The former Dortmund star has been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain and could move on to greener pastures on a free transfer. Barcelona president Laporta revealed that the final decision is in the hands of the player.
“He wants to stay, but he is very tempted by other options that offer better conditions. The offer has been presented for a long time and they have asked us for time until the end of the season, next week. We already wanted an answer before, but we can’t force it because Dembele ends his contract. The coach and I like him. We have made a very important effort to keep him,” Laporta told Catalunya Radio.
"I see him very comfortable. There is a good personal relationship with everyone. [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] has come, with him and they are very good friends. He has some representatives who control the situation, but I hope he stays. If not, we will strengthen that position,” he added.