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Laporta says Xavi will decide if Dembele plays again for Barcelona

The forward has been left out of the last two squads

Granada CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been talking about Ousmane Dembele’s future and says it’s up to Xavi to decide if he returns to the squad and plays for the club again.

Dembele has been left out of the last two squads and was told to leave by Barca but remains at the club after the close of the January transfer window.

Xavi has previously said he doesn’t like the idea of keeping Dembele in the stands but now has a big call to make on the Frenchman for the rest of the season.

Here’s what Laporta said about it during Adama Traore’s presentation.

“The trainer decides, of course. The coach will decide and it’s a decision for him,” he said.

“I do think that he works for this season and the next one, and surely it is more difficult to play a player who will surely not be here – because there should be another club – because we are building a team.

“He has not wanted to renew and this feeling is a problem that I hope can be resolved in our favour for our interest and so that he does not get hurt either.”

Laporta also refused to rule out the possibility of terminating Dembele’s contract amid speculation it’s an option the club are considering.

The president said only, “We will evaluate all the options and I hope that we can decide and execute the best one for the interests of Barça.”

Laporta also confirmed that Barca’s last offer for Dembele expired on December 20 and reiterated his belief that the 24-year-old has an agreement with another club in place.