The France international was told he should depart the Blaugrana after he did not pen a new deal, but no move happened in the winter transfer window.
can still prove useful for the club for the rest of the season, notwithstanding his refusal to sign a new contract.
Barcelona planned to sell the player in January when he turned down their offer. The 24-year-old, who joined the club fromBorussia Dortmund
in 2017 on a deal worth €105million after Neymar’s move toParis Saint-Germain
, has had a hard time with injuries since he arrived at Camp Nou.
He featured in six matches in La Liga this season and he managed to meet the target 31 times and contribute 22 assists in 129 games since he joined in 2017.
In his single season at Dortmund, the Frenchman created 100 opportunities across all competitions and netted 10 goals.
Xavi was clear when he arrived as he began seeing Dembele as a crucial player for the future of the club. However, he is now reaching the end of his deal. Paris Saint-Germain looked interested in penning with the France international in January, but it did not materialize, while rumors also suggest that Premier League sides are also eyeing him.
Barca and Dembele, however, decided to put the differences aside and the club manager thinks it would not be wise to omit him from the team.
Well, we haven't found a solution for Dembele,"
he told a news conference before Sunday's clash with reigning LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid, for which Dembele was part of the squad next to new arrivals Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
"The situation is as it was a month ago, he hasn't signed a contract. We had a meeting with the president. We have all met and we have decided that he is part of the squad. We cannot shoot ourselves in the foot.
"He's a player for Barca. We have to use him, he can help us, he has been a good professional when he has been involved or not, so that's the club’s decision. We will use him. I think he can be useful, he's part of the team."
When quizzed whether he is worried about fans’ reaction to Dembele, Xavi said:
"I understand the fans if they are hurt, but we have to close ranks for the good of the team. He is training well.
"He is a club player and his commitment is clear. His commitment is impeccable."
Ronald Araujo is also talking with the club over a renewal, and Xavi is keen on retaining his services.
Yes, it is a priority. It is a reality and it gives us a lot,"
"A very popular person in the locker room. It is a priority operation."
Xavi also said that Traore and Aubameyang are in contention for their clash against Atleti.
Both of them have trained well. Probably Adama is in a better shape. Auba has had COVID-19, so he was working individually [before leaving Arsenal], so we will decide,"
"They are excited and we also want to see them in the squad. Two great signings.
"We have reinforced ourselves well and let's see how far we get. There is a good atmosphere and a good group."
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