Laporta says Dembele future up in the air

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Dembele, who has been in excellent form of late, has just three months remaining on his Barca deal and there is no sign of the France international agreeing to extending his stay at Camp Nou.

However, Blaugrana vice-president Rafael Yuste this week stated "if Dembele continues to feel comfortable, then we can meet his agents and he could stay".

Barca president Laporta says there are no developments over the former Borussia Dortmund forward's future as the in-form Catalan giant strives to make a late charge for the LaLiga title after a 4-0 Clasico thrashing of Real Madrid.

He told Mundo Deportivo: "Dembele is a wonderful, charming boy, at least he hasn't caused us problems since we took charge of the club.

"Perhaps we are seeing the best Dembele since he was at Barca, for sure. He is a player that the coaches have known how to manage better, starting with Xavi, who is managing the player wonderfully.

"But we made him a renewal offer that expired on December 20 last year. He decided not to take advantage of that renewal. Now Xavi says that he was counting on him because he is a player who makes a difference.

"Now, the renewal of Dembele? Let's see, the option he had has expired and we are already setting salary levels that all those who stay next season will have to accept. Some levels that have to maintain the sustainability and balance of the club and the squad."

Asked if Barca will make a new offer for Dembele, Laporta replied: "At the moment, for our purposes, we have no news that he wants to continue.

"I don't know if his representative has been in contact but I think not because he would know and in principle we are focused on this last stretch of the league to try to make a splash and win it. At the end of the season, I suppose that in some way there will be talks but within the salary levels that we are establishing."

Teenager midfielder Gavi and Uruguay defender Araujo are contracted with Barca until the end of next season, but Laporta has no concerns about their futures.

He said: "This is on the right track. Yes, they are players that we want to continue, within these salary levels that we are establishing. We would like them to continue for many years.

"There is no need to be worried about their cases. Negotiations are under way and everything is going perfectly normally with Araujo and Gavi."


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