Barça coach Xavi preparing for life without Ousmane Dembele at Camp Nou


Barça coach Xavi preparing for life without Ousmane Dembele at Camp Nou

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The French forward is out of contract on June 30 and is yet to renew

Barça's offer remains on the table but the club now expect him to leave

He pushed until the end and insisted more than anyone, but finally Xavi Hernandez is beginning to accept that he won't have one of the favourite parts of his project next season, Ousmane Dembele, whose contract expires on June 30 and it's more and more likely that he will not accept Barcelona's renewal offer.

Dembele's camp say the last offer is not satisfactory. And Barça have been worn down by the negotiations. They won't change their position again. The Frenchman's Barça career looks to be coming to an end.

If anyone has done their most to change that, it's been Xavi. He brought Dembele back into the squad when others at the club wanted to sideline him for six months. In press conference after press conference, he defended Dembele, always with the hope that he would convince him to stay.

No looking back

But the Barça coach has now assumed he will have to turn the page. Save a final twist, Dembele will not be on the squad next season. With that accepted, it's time to look forward and work on alternatives. The good news is that the famous 'palancas' have been activated, which should help the club sign this summer.

Without Dembele and without Adama Traore, Barça lose pace and width. They will have to replace them. Even with Lewandowski likely to arrive and Ferran Torres able to play wide. Raphinha is one of the big target, but Leeds wanting €50m makes it tough. If you're spending €40m on Lewy, another €50m on the Brazilian is almost out of the question this summer.

Raphinha or Di Maria

Mainly because there are also other priorities. Like a centre-back. In this sense, the name Angel Di Maria is gaining weight. He is out of contract at PSG and would love to join Barça it seems. There is an offer from Juventus but he will give Barça a chance. Obviously at 34 he's not a project for the future, but he covers a short-term hole.

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