Ousmane Dembele, a winger for Barcelona, has emphasized that renewing his contract and remaining with the team was always his primary choice.
Two weeks after his previous contract had expired, on Thursday morning, the Frenchman formally signed his new agreement. This agreement is now valid through the summer of 2024. Dembélé would remain on during the introduction of the new signing Raphinha, according to club president Joan Laporta.
Dembélé reportedly received one of the highest salaries on the team under his previous contract, despite Barcelona not making his pay known. Barcelona has been successful in persuading several number of players to accept a pay cut as it attempts to pay off its massive debt.
After contract negotiations fell through and it became clear that Dembele would become a free agent this summer, Barça was prepared to sell him in January. However, no deal was reached, and a subsequent comeback on the field reinforced for head coach Xavi the value of keeping him at Camp Nou.
After Neymar’s unwelcome transfer, Barcelona sought a new talent and in 2017 acquired Dembélé from Borussia Dortmund for a then club-record fee of 147 million euros (at the time, $173 million). Dembélé is now 25 years old.
Dembélé was one of coach Xavi Hernández’s most frequently used players and kept up his good play. But it seemed he would go because his contract was set to expire this summer. Dembélé was mentioned in connection with potential transfers to the Premier League of England or to Neymar and Lionel Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain.
Due to his pace and playmaking, Dembélé has established himself as one of Barcelona’s most indispensable players despite early significant injuries. The signing of the new deal brings to an end a prolonged dispute between the player and the club that appeared to come to an end in January when Dembélé rejected Barcelona’s offer to extend his contract, leading the team to instruct his agent to find the France winger a new club.
He will now be regarded as one of Xavi’s cornerstones as the manager works to assemble a successful team after a season without a championship. In 150 games, the forward has scored 32 goals and assisted on 34 more.