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Ousmane Dembele: Barcelona was always my first option

The forward has signed a new contract until 2024


Ousmane Dembele has said that staying at Barcelona was always his top priority after putting pen to paper on a new two-year deal at the club.

The Frenchman’s future has been the subject of speculation for months but he will now stay at the Camp Nou and continue his career with the Catalans.

Dembele spoke briefly on the Tito Vilanova pitch after signing his deal and made it clear he’s very happy to be staying at Barca.

“I’m pleased with this renewal,” he said.

“Barça was my dream club since I was little and I am looking forward to a new season and doing everything for this club. Barça was always my first option, and we are all happy and eager to start.

“Barça always has to be up there challenging for titles, and my dream is to win the Champions League. I will do everything, work hard for the boss on the pitch and hopefully this will be a big year for me and Barça”.

There has been speculation that Dembele has taken a pay-cut to continue at Barcelona, and president Joan Laporta did thank the forward for making an effort.

“This is a big day for Barça, Ousmane is staying. I am a huige admirer of his human qualities and want to thank him because he always wanted to stay,” he said.

“He has made a major effort given the circumstances we are in, and I am grateful to everyone who has helped make sure he stays at Barça.

“We are very happy, he has extraordinary talent, incomparable. He has very specific talents and they do a lot for us. Xavi always wanted him here and so did the club. This year we have to fight for trophies.”

Barcelona will now be hoping Dembele can deliver on the pitch next season after agreeing to stay on at the club.

Xavi’s starting XI will make for interesting reading with the coach looking like he’ll be able to choose from Dembele, Raphinha, Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and maybe even Robert Lewandowski in attack.

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