Juventus transfer target Ousmane Dembele has released his own statement hitting back at Barcelona ‘blackmail’ and insisting he will not leave in the January window.
His contract is running down and will expire on June 30, so Barca warned he can either accept a sale now or they could try to terminate his contract early by mutual consent to avoid paying the remaining six months of wages.
However, Dembele has no intention of doing either of those things, instead releasing his own statement via Instagram.
After stating he had been reading stories about himself for four years without response, he pointed out “people have spoken for me, shamefully lied with one sole purpose, to harm me. I stuck to the line of not answering back, of not justifying myself. Was that a mistake? Definitely.
“Well as of today, that is over. From today I will answer honestly, without giving in to any form of blackmail.
“I am 24 years old and like every man I have flaws. I have experienced complex moments, injuries, COVID has affected me too.
“I forbid anyone from giving the impression I am not involved in the sporting project. I forbid anyone from attributing to me intentions that I did not have. I forbid anyone from speaking in my place or in place of my agent, in whom I have total confidence.
“I am still under contract, I am fully involved and at the disposal of my club, my coach. I have always given everything for my teammates, that is not going to change now. I am not a man who cheats or gives in to blackmail.
“As you know, there are negotiations. I let my agent take care of it, that is his area. My turf is playing football, sharing moments of joy with my teammates and fans. Above all, let’s focus on winning.”
Dembele does not seem in any way intent on accepting a January transfer, so Juventus may well pivot to negotiating directly with his agent for a free move in the summer.
It is either way a huge problem for Barcelona, who paid €140m to sign the midfielder from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017.
He has made just 11 competitive appearances for the Blaugrana this season.
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