Ousmane Dembele has at long last agreed a new contract with Barcelona until 2024 after his past arrangement ended on June 30, the Catalan club affirmed on Thursday July 14.
Dembele extended his five-year stay at Camp Nou by signing a two-year contract, finishing off a long time of uncertain encompassing his future.
Barca advised him to find a new club in January subsequent to failing to reach an agreement over a renewal. The club went to the extent of ‘axing’ him from the team for two matches and threatened that he would be banished to the stands for the rest of the season if he stayed without signing a new contract.
However, coach Xavi Hernandez, who has always maintained he wanted the French winger to stay, brought him back into the side in February 2022, despite opposition from within the club.
Dembele, 25, who was at first mocked by fans upon his return, proceeded to assume a vital role as Barca moved from 10th to second in LaLiga, finishing the campaign with an league high 13-assists.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Chelsea had been unequivocally connected with signing Dembele, who in fact became a free agent this month, but sources close to the player have consistently expressed remaining at Barca was his most memorable decision.
Despite that, agreeing on the terms of a new deal had previously proved impossible, with Barca’s sporting director Mateu Alemany and Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko unable to reach a compromise.
However, Dembele has finally agreed to commit his future to Barca for the next two years ahead of rejoining preseason training this week.
Sources at Barca continue to insist that renewing Dembele, who joined from Borussia Dortmund for €105 million in 2017, will not have an impact on their pursuit of Leeds United’s Raphinha.
Barca affirmed on Wednesday they came to an “arrangement on a basic level” with Leeds over the transfer.
Any incomings at Camp Nou remain dependent on Barca selling another 15% stake in their domestic television rights. They sold 10% to global investment firm Sixth Street for over €200m on Thursday to cover losses across the 2021-22 campaign.