Barcelona fans will have been delighted to hear Joan Laporta’s update this afternoon on negotiations with Gavi, but there was a negative too. The President of Barcelona confirmed that there was no movement in terms of Ousmane Dembele’s situation.
The French winger is Barcelona’s second most expensive signing ever and due to a variety of reasons, chief among them injury, had failed to live up to expectations.
Until Xavi Hernandez came in. The manager from Terrassa was bullish about his belief in Dembele from the start and even when relations broke down between the player and the club. That faith was repaid by 13 assists, more than anyone else in La Liga, despite playing significantly less than most of his competitors.
That sparked optimism that a deal could be reached between the two parties, with Xavi fighting hard to keep him. That has ebbed away in recent weeks and Laporta confirmed that he had no new information on the matter to Sport.
“Dembele has an offer on the table from us, but he hasn’t accepted it.”
“We don’t have a response from him.”
This will be a blow to Xavi, who will have to look for a replacement for Dembele this summer. The problem is he is unlikely to find someone of the same talent and it will likely cost more than Dembele staying would have.