Ousmane Dembele was linked with a move to both Arsenal and Chelsea throughout the January transfer window.
The France international has less than six months remaining on his contract at Barcelona and with each passing day, it looks less likely that he will further his stay at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona have been negotiating with Dembele and his entourage over renewing the winger’s contract, but they have been unsuccessful in their efforts so far – as club chief Mateu Alemany revealed last month.
He said: “With Ousmane and his agents we started conversations around the month of July.
“In all this time, almost seven months, we have talked, Barca has made different offers, we have tried to find a way for the player to continue with us and those offers have been continuously rejected by his agents.
“It seems obvious to us that the player does not want to continue at Barcelona and is not committed to Barca’s future project.
“We told him and his agents that he must leave the club immediately because we want to have players committed to the project.
“We expect a transfer to take place before January 31. The sporting consequence is that we don’t want to have players who don’t want to be at Barca.
“The fact that he was not in the [squad] list for today is the consequence of this whole process. The coach has our full support, it’s a consistent attitude.”
While Dembele did not leave before the January 31 deadline, as suggested by Alemany, his future at the Nou Camp remains uncertain – especially considering he was jeered by the home crowd recently.
Now, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has spoken about his close friend and how he had a conversation with him recently where he advised him against leaving Barcelona.
Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Aubameyang said: “I told Dembele; ‘Bro, you should stay at Barca’. I do not know if he will change his mind, but I can only say that anything can happen.”
What did Tuchel say about Dembele?
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He said: “I did not have contact with Ousmane. There was no contact in winter. I’m very satisfied because it was a calm window, and to be calm is always the best thing.”
This could of course change in the summer, with Tuchel and Mikel Arteta set to be put on alert by whatever happens with Dembele – especially if he becomes a free agent.