Ousmane Dembele made no secret only a month ago that he was happy at Barcelona, but now he wants to leave for Paris Saint-Germain.
Dembele, who signed for Barca in 2017 from Borussia Dortmund for £135m, was keen to discuss a new contract with the club ahead of his current deal expiring in 2024.
The 26-year-old told Marca in June: “I don’t know why there’s been so much talk about PSG. It must be because I’m French.
“It’s going very well. Barcelona want me to renew until 2027, and my representative will talk to them. I am happy at the team, also at home, in Barcelona. So we’ll see what happens.”
Since, however, Sky Sports News understands there has not been a lot of progress over this extension and, in the meantime, the dynamics at both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have shifted.
Most decisively, PSG decided to sell Kylian Mbappe after the player made it clear he would not extend his contract there and earmarked Dembele as his replacement.
PSG are understood to have made strong overtures towards Dembele while the Mbappe saga was rumbling on, with manager Luis Enrique seeing Dembele as the ideal successor.
At the same time, Barcelona are understood to have been one of the clubs that made a move for Mbappe, attempting to give PSG the solution they were looking for to get him off their books.
And from this, rumours are believed to have reached Dembele that have unsettled him – rumours that he was one of two names proposed to PSG as part of a potential deal.
Dembele has now told Barcelona that he wants to join PSG and, although his relationship with manager Xavi remains strong, he does not feel like the club has made a strong enough attempt to keep him.
Xavi publicly expressed his disappointment at Dembele’s decision this week, especially after he played a big part in the winger’s resurgence following a falling out with the club last January.
Dembele shone last season, being dubbed the ‘Assist King’ by Spanish media, as he scored eight goals and set up nine more in all competitions.
PSG have triggered a clause in Dembele’s contract which has given them five days to negotiate his transfer with Barcelona.
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