Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has expressed disappointment over Ousmane Dembele‘s desire to leave the club and join PSG, reported by goal.com. Following a 1-0 pre-season victory against Milan, Xavi confirmed that Dembele has informed the club of his intention to move to PSG in the coming days. The French winger's departure comes after PSG triggered his release clause of €50 million (£43 million/$54 million) on August 1, delivering a significant blow to Barcelona, who had hoped to receive the full asking price of €100 million for the talented player.
In an interview with TV3, Xavi Hernandez openly acknowledged that Dembele's departure was imminent, stating, “Dembele has told us that he wants to leave. I am a little disappointed. He has a proposal from PSG, and we can't do anything. We can't compete with the offer made to him from France. This is the market. Footballers who do not want to be at Barça, they have to be let go.”
While it is evident that Dembele's departure weakens Barcelona's squad, the coach emphasized that the team was prepared for the potential loss and is now focused on strengthening their ranks. The Catalan club will be actively seeking a suitable replacement for the 26-year-old winger to fill the void left by his departure.
Despite the disappointment over Dembele's decision, Barcelona still boasts a formidable attacking lineup. The prolific Robert Lewandowski will continue leading the line, supported by promising young talents like Ansu Fati and La Masia graduate Lamine Yamal, who showed glimpses of their potential during the pre-season friendly against Milan.
The win against Milan marked the end of Barcelona's pre-season campaign. As the transfer window enters its final stages, the club now faces the challenge of finding a replacement for Dembele with less than a month remaining. Ousmane Dembele's imminent move to PSG has added urgency to Barcelona's search for a suitable replacement to bolster their squad ahead of the 2023-24 season.