Xavi confirms Ousmane Dembele is leaving to join Paris Saint-Germain

Barcelona boss Xavi confirms that Ousmane Dembele wants to leave the club and that Paris Saint-Germain have submitted a bid that the Catalan side “cannot match”.

Barcelona manager Xavi has confirmed that Ousmane Dembele is likely to leave the club for Paris Saint-Germain in the coming days.

Speculation over the 26-year-old’s future at Camp Nou has ramped up in recent weeks, with PSG pushing to trigger a release clause in the forward’s contract.

The French giants are understood to have missed the deadline to activate the La Liga exit clause in Dembele’s deal, but they did send a formal letter to Barcelona which triggered a private clause in the contract, making him available for the same amount.

PSG are therefore expected to land the Frenchman for €50m (£43m), which is half of the fee they would have had to pay to sign him had they not activated the clause in his contract.

Both PSG and Dembele are thought to have requested permission from Barcelona to undergo talks regarding a move, and Xavi has now confirmed that the player wants to leave after being offered a better deal by the Ligue 1 outfit.

“Dembele came and told me he wanted to leave. He has an offer from PSG that we cannot match,” the Barca boss said in the wake of his side’s 1-0 pre-season friendly win over AC Milan.

“We can’t compete. The PSG bid is huge and out of the market – he spoke to Luis Enrique and [Nasser] Al Khelaifi. It hurts me because we took care of him to make him happy here. But we can’t compete, he’s leaving.”

Dembele has already agreed personal terms with PSG and is expected to sign a five-year contract at the Parc des Princes.

The deal will see Barcelona make a significant loss on a player they signed for around £135m from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Dembele’s career at Barcelona has been hampered by a series of injuries, meaning that he made 30 or more La Liga appearances in just one of his six seasons at Camp Nou.

In total, the winger was limited to 185 games across all competitions during that six-year spell, scoring 40 goals.

Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele on January 8, 2023© Reuters

Dembele’s best season came in 2018-19 when he scored 14 goals in 42 games across all competitions, while he also reached double figures for goals in 2020-21, netting 11 times in 44 outings.

Last season, the 37-time France international scored eight goals in 35 games across all competitions, including five goals in 25 La Liga outings as Barcelona regained the title.

Only 16 of the 25 league games came from the start, though, with Dembele often finding himself behind the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati in the forward pecking order.

During his time at Camp Nou, Dembele has won three La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey and two Supercopas de Espana.

Should he complete his move to PSG then Dembele could become the club’s 10th signing of the summer, while his arrival could also raise the possibility of Kylian Mbappe leaving during the current transfer window.

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