Ousmane Dembele says he will 'not be BLACKMAILED' by Barcelona in an open letter

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Ousmane Dembele says he will ‘not be BLACKMAILED’ by Barcelona in an open letter to the club after director of football Mateu Alemany told the player to leave ‘as soon as possible’

  • The war of words between Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele has escalated
  • Dembele said in an open letter that he will ‘not be blackmailed’ by the club
  • The French international is out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season
  • He has been in talks over new deal for months but no agreement has been found
  • As a result, Mateu Alemany told him to leave the club ‘as soon as possible’ 


The war of words between Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele has escalated with the French international declaring in an open letter that he will ‘not be blackmailed’ by the club.

Barcelona’s Director of Football Mateu Alemany had said the player should leave the club ‘as soon as possible’ after he refused to sign the new deal offered him.

He was then left out of the squad for tonight’s Copa del Rey last-16 game against Athletic Bilbao.

The war of words between Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele has escalated with the French international declaring in an open letter that he will ‘not be blackmailed’ by the club

The war of words between Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele has escalated with the French international declaring in an open letter that he will ‘not be blackmailed’ by the club 

The French international shared the open letter on his social media page (above)

The French international shared the open letter on his social media page (above) 

But in an open letter Dembele said: ‘For four years now, gossip has been piling up about me and I have been shamefully lied about with the sole purpose of damaging me. Was that a mistake? I’m sure it was.

‘From today I will answer honestly, without giving in to any kind of blackmail. I am 24 years old and like every man, I have flaws and imperfections. I have lived through difficult times with injuries; I have been affected by Covid.

‘Without many training sessions I have always been available without complaint when the coach has asked me. I have always done my job as well as I can because it is my passion.’

The 24-year-old has refused to commit to a new deal despite months of negotiations

The 24-year-old has refused to commit to a new deal despite months of negotiations

Barcelona’s Director of Football Mateu Alemany (above) had said the player should leave the club ‘as soon as possible’ after he refused to sign the new deal offered him

Barcelona’s Director of Football Mateu Alemany (above) had said the player should leave the club ‘as soon as possible’ after he refused to sign the new deal offered him 

Dembele responded angrily to the suggestion he was not committed to the Barça cause having run his contract down to the last six months.

‘I forbid anyone to think that I am not involved in the sporting project,’ he said. ‘I forbid anyone to attribute to me intentions that I have never had. I forbid anyone to speak for me or for my agent, in whom I have total confidence.

‘I am still under contract, I am fully involved and at the disposal of my club and my coach. I have always given my all for my team-mates. I am not a man who cheats but even less a man who is in the habit of giving in to blackmail.’

Earlier the players union AFE backed Dembele and warned Barcelona over freezing out the player because he won’t sign a new contract.

AFE issued a statement saying: ‘It’s true that a professional footballer has no [automatic] right to be picked to be in the squad for all games but he does have a right to be treated the same as his team-mates.

Earlier the players union AFE backed Dembele and warned Barcelona over freezing out the player because he won’t sign a new contract

Earlier the players union AFE backed Dembele and warned Barcelona over freezing out the player because he won’t sign a new contract 

‘If the situation [being left out] can be understood as a pressure on him [to sign a new deal, or leave] and in addition there are public statements acknowledging this type of pressure, we would be dealing with an illegal action on the part of the club.’

The statement added: ‘AFE considers that a failure to reach an agreement to renew an employment contract does not constitute a breach of employment.’

The players’ union argument is that Barcelona have signed a contract with Dembele until June 2022 and the player does not have to extend his deal before then. Barcelona can refuse to pick him but to public admit to doing so because he will not sign or leave would be legal.

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