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Barcelona

Xavi, feeling let down and disappointed with Dembélé

Barcelona's coach feels he has been deceived by Dembélé and directly accuses his agent of convincing the player to turn down an offer to renew.

Update:
Xavi, feeling let down and disappointed with Dembélé
Alejandro GarcíaEFE

Xavi Hernández is extremely disappointed with Ousmane Dembélé. The Barcelona coach, who has staunchly defended the French winger from the moment he returned to his old club, feels let down. During his presentation, Xavi exclaimed that Dembélé had the potential to be "the best in the world in his position". And for the next two months he held numerous, private meetings with the forward to get a clearer idea of what plans he had for the future. In all of those conversations, Dembélé assured that his priority was to renew terms with Barcelona - especially after hearing about the project which Xavi is developing and how he would it into it. The coach made it crystal clear that he would be one of the team's key figures.

The situation changed dramatically after the player's agent, Moussa Sissoko held a meeting with Barça's Director of Football Mateu Alemany. There were reports of threats, arrogance and antagonism.

Sissoko's demands

Barcelona, who by now were fed up of so much inconsistency and lack of respect, gave the agent an ultimatum - they had up until 15 January to respond to the club's last offer to renew terms. The reply could not have been more insulting - Sissoko demanded that Ousmane should be treated like a superstar, asked for 200 million euros in wages spread over five years  plus a further 40 million to cover the signing-on fee and his own commission.

For Alemany, that basically closed the matter once and for all. The offer to renew was withdrawn and a new meeting with the player was called in which he would be informed that he would not play another game for Barcelona if he remained at the club until his contract runs out on 30 June.

AS USA understands that Xavi is extremely upset with the player. He thinks that his agent has created a toxic atmosphere by making decisions which don't benefit his client's career - purely for his own financial gain. There is no way that Xavi would ostracise Ousmane, leaving him in the stands for six months. He knows that the best solution, given the circumstances, would be for the player to leave in the January window. Firstly, because it would reduce the squad's wages bill, and allow him to sign someone else, and secondly, because it is going to be very difficult to manage him while his contract winds down - especially considering the hostile reaction he is sure to get from the Camp Nou public.

As things stand, the coach is open to finding an outlet for Dembélé in the current transfer window to avoid a situation which could only get worse and drag on for the next six months - whcih would seem like an eternity for both the player and the club.

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