The departure of Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona shocked many this past summer. Given a key role and plenty of love by manager Xavi Hernandez, for the first time it looked as if Dembele was content at the club. Yet Paris Saint-Germain whisked him away for his €50m release clause.
Part of the surprise was that Dembele was willing to leave the Blaugrana after so long struggling to finally have things in place in order to perform at his best. According to Cadena SER, he was open to staying at the club too.
Dembele had a year left on his deal last summer, and was expecting a renewal offer from Barcelona to tie his future to the club. Yet with relations strained between his agent Moussa Sissoko and Mateu Alemany, then Director of Football, no offer came.
In spite of the arrival of new Sporting Director Deco, the PSG winger received no offer to extend his deal either before or after PSG’s interest, with the Blaugrana making it clear that they were fine to see him leave the club. In fact, part of the reason PSG convinced Dembele to join them was by signalling Deco’s presence. Before joining Barcelona, Deco was Raphinha’s agent, and the French side argued that Dembele was unlikely to get a fair deal either in sporting or financial terms with Deco there.
One of their most productive forwards last season, Dembele was a key part of their title run last season, although he did miss multiple months through injury too. With Raphinha, Ferran Torres and Lamine Yamal all preferring to play on the right, Barcelona are well covered for the position, with the club desperately in need of income too.