Barcelona coach Xabi Hernandez has aired his disappointment after confirming that Ousmane Dembele has requested to leave the club after agreeing personal terms with Paris Saint-Germain.
The French winger, who cost Barca anl £97m in 2017, with add-ons potentially taking the deal up to £135.5m, is wanted by PSG.
The French giants reportedly sent Barcelona a letter that triggered Dembele’s £50m release clause. Although Barcelona wanted to keep him and was reluctant to accept PSG’s offer, the 26-year-old informed the club he wanted to return to France.
Following Barcelona’s 1-0 pre-season win over AC Milan, Xavi confirmed Relevo Dembele’s desire to leave and admitted he is unhappy with how the situation unfolded.
“I will be very clear, he has told us he wants to leave, he has a proposal from PSG, and we can’t do anything,” Xavi said.
“It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth because we have taken care of him so that he is happy here. A little disappointed, yes I am.”
Although Dembele suffered consistent injury issues in his first few years in Spain, he returned to form last term, contributing five goals and seven assists in 25 La Liga games for the Camp Niu club.
Xavi was happy with his return to form and was keen on keeping him. However, the Spanish coach has admitted the club could not match PSG’s contract offer.
He added: “We cannot compete with the proposal they’ve made to him; it’s out of our reach.
“It’s simple. He came to me with a proposal from PSG. He said that he wanted to leave, that he had spoken with Luis Enrique, with Nasser and has a proposal with which we cannot compete. We have asked him the reason, and he has not been able to answer. I sense that it will be something personal. Disappointed? Yes. The important thing is that he has been clear. I wish him luck.
“He looked so happy to me; I did not expect it. That is the market. Whoever doesn’t want to be at Barca you have to let him go.”