Xavi Hernandez is ‘very disappointed’ with Dembele

August 2, 2023

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez expressed disappointment in Ousmane Dembele after the attacker told him he wants to join Paris Saint-Germain, as reported by ESPN last week.

Barca and PSG are still negotiating the fee division, which is likely to be around €50 million ($54.9 million). But the deal is anticipated to be completed in the coming days.

“I’m a little disappointed,” Xavi said following his team’s 1-0 friendly win over AC Milan in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

“He has informed us that he wishes to join PSG.” We tried everything to keep him, but there was nothing we could do. He informed me that he had already spoken with [PSG coach] Luis Enrique and [PSG president Nasser] Al-Khelaifi.

“There was no way to persuade him; this was the final decision, and it was his personal choice.” PSG has made a fully out-of-the-market bid. We simply cannot compete.”

Xavi Hernandez doesn’t want Dembele to leave Barcelona to join PSG

Dembele appeared to be on his way out of Barcelona in 2022, with sporting director Mateu Alemany requesting him to find a new club. Xavi’s desperation to keep him at the club led to his accepting a contract extension last summer.

That two-year pact, which expires in 2024, did, however, include a €50 million release provision that was effective until July 31. The figure went up to €100 million when the initial agreement ran out on Monday. However, because Dembele prefers that the teams strike a deal, Barcelona decided to begin talks with PSG.

“It’s a shame, we had taken great care of him to ensure he was happy here,” Xavi said at a news conference when asked how much he had spent on Dembele.

“I was well aware of the clause. Alemany and I had been together all day and night, and we knew he might leave. But he seemed content to me. The event comes as a surprise, yet it did.

“At the end of the day, it’s a scenario we prepared for, and we now have to strengthen because it weakens us.”

Dembele joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for a cost of €105 million. Injuries have hampered his stint with the club, restricting him to 185 appearances in all games, scoring 40 goals.