France forward Ousmane Dembélé has completed a move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) from Barcelona in a transfer deal worth 50.4 million euros ($55.2 million). This significant transfer comes amidst ongoing speculation about the potential departure of Neymar from PSG and uncertainty surrounding the future of Kylian Mbappé.
Dembélé, 26 years old and hailing from Vernon just outside Paris, has signed a five-year contract with PSG. He expressed his excitement about joining the club in a statement released by PSG, stating his eagerness to continue growing as a player and making the fans proud.
Dembélé’s journey in football started at the Rennes youth academy. He gained attention during the 2016-17 season when he played for Borussia Dortmund before making the move to Spain.
In 2017, Dembélé transferred to Barcelona from Dortmund in a then club-record deal. The transfer amount, including variables, was set to reach up to 147 million euros (then equivalent to $173 million). This move was aimed at bringing in young talent to fill the gap left by Neymar’s departure to PSG.
Despite encountering significant injuries during his early days at Barcelona, Dembélé became an integral part of the team due to his speed and playmaking abilities. He renewed his contract with Barcelona last summer, planning to stay with the club until the conclusion of the upcoming season.
Throughout his time at Barcelona, Dembélé made 185 appearances and scored 62 goals for the club. His contributions were instrumental in securing three Spanish league titles and two Copa del Rey titles for Barcelona.
With his transfer to PSG, Dembélé will now play under the guidance of former Barcelona and Spain coach, Luis Enrique.
Barcelona confirmed Dembélé’s departure, mentioning that the player exercised a buyout clause in his contract to make the move.
Barcelona’s coach, Xavi Hernández, expressed his sentiments about Dembélé’s departure, acknowledging his positive impact on the team. Xavi noted, “He has been a good guy. He helped us, and we cared for him and gave him an important role. It is very disappointing that he has decided to leave.”
Dembélé’s move from Barcelona comes as the club seeks to address its financial challenges by reducing debt and lowering its wage commitments. This departure leaves Barcelona with Raphinha, Ferran Torres, and Ansu Fati as the forward options to support star striker Robert Lewandowski.
Barcelona is set to kick off its new season with a match against Getafe in the Spanish league on Sunday.