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Ousmane Dembele insists he never wanted to leave Barcelona

Ousmane Dembele insists he never wanted to leave Barcelona

Ousmane Dembele has claimed he never wanted to leave Barcelona amid talks of a summer exit.

The Frenchman was linked with a departure after his contract expired at the end of June, and Barcelona club president Joan Laporta suggested the player agreed to join another club.

However, rather than leaving Camp Nou, Dembele reportedly took a 40% pay cut to sign a new two-year deal in a bid to help the club with their financial problems.

Speaking in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, the 25-year-old has insisted he never wanted to leave Barcelona, while also praising Xavi for his management.

Dembele said: “There was none of that (pre-agreement with another club), I only spoke with Barca. And I told my representative only Barca and in the end we are all happy.

“Since Xavi arrived, I have lived my best moments at Barça. For me, or for the other wingers, his way of seeing football suits us very well.

“The relationship with Xavi is very good, he has always told me the truth, he supports me a lot and I am happy.”

Dembele has begun the 2022-23 campaign in impressive form, scoring one goal and providing two assists in Barcelona’s opening four La Liga games.

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