After being spotted in the Barcelona dressing room a couple of days ago, the news finally became official as Ousmane Dembele has signed a new contract.
The French forward is sticking around with the Catalan giants until 2024.
At the start of the New Year, all indicators pointed to an exit for the former Borussia Dortmund winger. Talks between the two sides stalled with the club balking at the wages and bonuses presented by Dembele’s representative.
The season ended, his contract expired and everyone assumed they were going their separate ways. Barcelona did present a final offer and stuck with it, believing the Frenchman would end up signing. In the end, Barcelona were proven right.
Manager Xavi Hernandez pushed for his return and Dembele always insisted he wanted to stay.
“I’m pleased with this renewal,” Dembele said. “Barça was my dream club since I was little and I am looking forward to a new season and doing everything for this club. Barça was always my first option, and we are all happy and eager to start.
“Barça always has to be up there challenging for titles, and my dream is to win the Champions League. I will do everything, work hard for the boss on the pitch and hopefully this will be a big year for me and Barça”.
Dembele was able to stay fit, for the most part, last season and ended up leading LaLiga in assists.
In addition to Xavi, Joan Laporta was also one of the Frenchman’s biggest supporters and called Dembele’s re-signing a big day for the club.
“This is a big day for Barça, Ousmane is staying,” Laporta said. “I am a huge admirer of his human qualities and want to thank him because he always wanted to stay. He has made a major effort given the circumstances we are in, and I am grateful to everyone who has helped make sure he stays at Barça.
“We are very happy, he has extraordinary talent, incomparable. He has very specific talents and they do a lot for us. Xavi always wanted him here and so did the club. This year we have to fight for trophies.”
With the signing of Raphinha from Leeds United, on paper, Barcelona look to have a very potent attack on the wings. Add in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and possibly Robert Lewandowski, alongside other players like Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres, and Xavi is set to have plenty of quality options up front.