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Xavi urges Barca fans to stop booing Dembele

Xavi has made an appeal to Barcelona fans to stop booing Ousmane Dembele after the winger was jeered as he sat on the bench during the club’s 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid in a La Liga clash on Sunday.

Over the past few months, Dembele has been the subject of a tedious contract saga as the attacker’s current deal is at Barca is set to expire at the end of the campaign.

The Spanish giants sent a number of ultimatums to Dembele before announcing that they want to sell the Frenchman in the January transfer window. But the move didn’t materialise with Dembele now expected to part ways with the club at the end of the season.

As a result of the contract dispute, the player received harsh treatment from the Barca fans at the weekend. Dembele was named on the bench against Atletico and jeers echoed around the Camp Noe when his name was called out.

Xavi urged the supporters to support the player for the rest of his Barcelona career.

“I would like to ask the fans to please stop whistling at Dembele. He is one more in the group – they did it against Atletico now please stop,” said Xavi.

Xavi said he wanted to play Dembele as a substitute but Dani Alves’ red card changed his plans.

“We need to support our team, our players. The idea was for him to come on, but I decided on other things because of the red card and the way the game went.

“We did not find a solution with Ousmane, so the circumstances have now changed. We have spoken with the president [Joan Laporta] and made the decision [to reintegrate Dembele]. He has a contract, he is part of the squad and we are not going to shoot ourselves in the foot by not using him.”

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