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Ousmane Dembélé reveals to Xavi Hernández why he wants to leave Barcelona for PSG

The French winger is on the verge of leaving the LaLiga champions, despite the Barça coach’s best efforts to keep him.

The French winger is on the verge of leaving the LaLiga champions, despite the Barça coach’s best efforts to keep him.

Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé is on the verge of securing a move back to France with Paris Saint-Germain, who see him as a long-term replacement for Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappé. And in a meeting with Blaugrana head coach Xavi Hernández, he has disclosed the reason why he is looking to leave the reigning LaLiga champions.

Why is Dembélé unhappy at Barcelona?

I want to stay here win trophies, but in a healthy environment”, the 26-year-old told his manager, AS has learned. Dembélé revealed his unhappiness with certain elements of the club and feels several people at Camp Nou have been trying to undermine him, although he refused to name names. In an interview after the pre-season friendly victory over AC Milan, Xavi himself explained that the player had spoken to him about the situation but that “he hadn’t gone into specifics”.

Dembélé did, however, open up to a teammate in the dressing room, expressing his concern about staying at club where “people are always throwing shit at me” and that he wouldn’t be “waiting for people to cut [his] head off”. “Nobody laughs at me”, was his final remark.

Neither will the France international have forgotten about being left out of the team - against Xavi’s wishes - because he had refused to extend his contract. He doesn’t want to find himself in the same situation again.

Money not the driving factor behind PSG move

Dembélé has stressed to Xavi that money is not the driving factor behind his decision, despite PSG’s offer to almost triple his current salary. Instead, he has cited a perceived lack of confidence in him from club bosses. He was, however, grateful for the way he had been “impeccably” treated by Xavi, who gave him his full backing during the worst spell of his career “when everyone thought [he] was dead”.

However, the former Borussia Dortmund star’s explanation hasn’t convinced the Barça coach, who acknowledged his disappointment with the forward following the win over Milan. Not even drawing comparisons with Neymar, who hasn’t had the best of times in Paris, was enough to change Dembélé's mind.

Xavi has also categorically denied that Dembélé was offered to PSG a month ago in a possible player-plus-cash swap deal for Mbappé, who looks almost certain to end up at Barça’s Clásico rivals Real Madrid.

Barcelona and Dembéle’s €25 million fight

Despite Xavi’s best efforts, Dembélé's desire to leave the club remains, which brings into focus the details of the contract extension he signed with the Catalans last summer. PSG’s offer of €50 million has triggered a release clause, which states that the attacker himself is due half of that figure.

However, Barça originally tried to convince him to give up some of that money due to the proximity of the start of 2023/24 season, to no avail. Now, they claim that certain of the clause’s conditions haven’t been met and that would affect the percentage of the free that ultimately ends up in his pocket.