Sources: Dembele opts for Barcelona stay

Clubs

Ousmane Dembele will stay at Barcelona until the end of the season after turning down the chance to move to the Premier League on Monday, sources told ESPN.

Barca president Joan Laporta said in a news conference on Monday that Dembele had an offer from an English club on the table, but the France international opted to remain at Camp Nou despite the threat of not playing for the rest of the season.

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Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United were all linked with Dembele in January, as were Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain.

Dembele, 24, is out of contract in the summer and was told by director of football Mateu Alemany to leave the club two weeks after after failing to agree an extension.

Manager Xavi Hernandez left Dembele out of the squad for Barca’s last two games after also telling him to renew his contract of find a new home.

Xavi had previously said he was not in favour of leaving the winger in the stands for six months if he chose to run his contract down.

Dembele responded to Barca’s pressure by saying he would not give in to “blackmail,” while the Spanish Players Association [AFE] warned the club over their “potentially illegal treatment” of the winger.

Xavi, who has said Dembele can be the best player in the world in his position, will now have to decide how to deal with the issue between now and the end of the campaign.

With his contract expiring on June 30, even with the transfer window closing, Dembele is allowed to sign a pre-contract agreement ahead of a summer move.

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