Barcelona sealed a seventh straight LaLiga win as Luuk de Jong's stoppage-time header earned a dramatic 3-2 victory over a Levante side who were awarded three penalties.

Jose Luis Morales' penalty seven minutes after the interval handed the hosts the lead, and they could have been 2-0 up moments later, yet Roger Marti's spot-kick was kept out by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona took advantage of that reprieve, moving 2-1 ahead within seven minutes of the miss thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Pedri.

Levante thought they had claimed a point when Gonzalo Melero slammed home from the spot with seven minutes remaining, but substitute De Jong popped up in added time to claim yet another maximum-points haul for the Blaugrana.

Barcelona ended a five-game losing streak against Real Madrid in sensational style as they sealed an emphatic 4-0 Clasico victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Xavi's men were dominant from the outset and went in at the break two goals up following headers from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ronald Araujo.

They picked up where they left off at the start of the second period, with Ferran Torres and Aubameyang completing the scoring before the hour mark.

The Blaugrana are still 12 points behind Carlo Ancelotti's league leaders, although Xavi's third-placed side do have a game in hand. 

Federico Valverde drew a smart stop from Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the early stages, while at the other end Thibaut Courtois denied Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele in quick succession.

Torres then whipped narrowly wide from just outside the penalty area before Barca's dominance bore fruit in the 29th minute when Aubameyang headed in Dembele's right-wing cross from inside the six-yard box.

Courtois denied Aubameyang a second soon after, yet Madrid found themselves 2-0 behind after 38 minutes when an unmarked Araujo nodded home Dembele's corner from eight yards.

Torres made amends for a glaring miss 20 seconds into the second half with Barca's third in the 47th minute, the Spain international slamming into the net after he had been superbly picked out by Aubameyang's back-heeled pass. 

Aubameyang made it 4-0 in the 51st minute with a sumptuous finish over Courtois after being played in by Torres, the goal given by VAR after it had initially been ruled out for offside. 

Torres, Aubameyang and Dembele all had wonderful chances to compound Madrid's misery further, yet it mattered little in the end as Barca extended their unbeaten away run in LaLiga to 11 games in memorable fashion. 

What does it mean? Barca stun Ancelotti's insipid charges

Only Sevilla have conceded fewer goals than Madrid in LaLiga this season, yet Los Blancos' backline had no answer to Barca's breathtaking attacking display.

The result meant Xavi became only the second Blaugrana head coach to remain unbeaten after his first 10 away games in LaLiga after Ernesto Valverde, who did not lose any of his first 18. If the Catalan giants continue to play like this on the road, Xavi will have no issues powering past that record.

Aubameyang's hot streak continues

Aubameyang has wasted little time making an impact since his arrival from Arsenal last month. The Gabon international has now scored in each of his last five meetings with Madrid (seven goals), making him the first player to score in five successive games against Los Blancos in the 21st century.

Madrid's dismal defence

Eder Militao and David Alaba endured a torrid time against Barca's supreme forward line. The visitors broke through the duo's wafer-thin resistance with alarming ease and could easily have won by an even greater margin, with a combination of wasteful finishing and Courtois' goalkeeping stopping the scoring at four.

What's next?

Madrid are next in action on April 2 when they visit Celta Vigo in LaLiga, while Barca travel to Sevilla in the Spanish top flight a day later.

Barcelona recovered from a goal behind to see off Galatasaray 2-1 on aggregate and advance to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

The visitors wasted plenty of opportunities in last week's goalless first leg and fell behind in the tie when Marcao headed Galatasaray ahead after 28 minutes on Thursday.

However, Pedri fired Barca back on level terms before half-time and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continued his good form by putting his side ahead for the first time.

Xavi's side saw out the victory at a hostile NEF Stadyumu to make it 11 games unbeaten in all competitions and take their place in Friday's draw for the next round.

Jordi Alba blocked a goal-bound Bafetimbi Gomis shot and Frenkie de Jong shot wide from a one-on-one as both sides pushed for an early opener.

The breakthrough in the tie arrived just before the half-hour mark when home skipper Marcao got in front of Ferran Torres to guide in Alexandru Cicaldau's corner.

But that lead lasted for all of nine minutes as Pedri was played in by De Jong, skipped past two players and coolly tucked past Barcelona loanee Inaki Pena.

Aubameyang then sent a looping header against the top of the bar but tucked into an empty net four minutes into the second half after Sergio Busquets' initial shot was saved.

Galatasaray could not muster any further clear-cut opportunities and the frustration of home fans told late on when missiles were thrown onto the field.

Alba kicked the ball into the stands in response and was issued a yellow card but he was smiling minutes later when, after Torres wasted a chance to add a third when firing against the bar, the full-time whistle sounded.

Barcelona head coach Xavi says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is like "a gift from heaven" after the striker hit the ground running following his arrival from Arsenal.

The Gabon international was on target in Barca's 4-0 win over Osasuna on Sunday to make it six goals in nine appearances for the Catalan giants in all competitions.

That is two more goals than next-best Ferran Torres has managed among Barca players since Aubameyang's first outing on February 6 in a 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid.

He is averaging 0.96 goals per 90 minutes in all competitions for the LaLiga club, compared to 0.57 across his 15 games with Arsenal prior to officially swapping clubs last month.

And with Barca enjoying their best run of league form since April 2021, Xavi has been impressed by Aubameyang's contribution in front of goal so far.

"Aubameyang is a gift from heaven," Xavi said following his side's fourth successive LaLiga victory.

"He is a positive player who always enters the room in good condition and adapts very quickly to new environments. 

"Aubameyang scores goals, creates opportunities, keeps moving. It's a privilege to lead him, he's an example for other players to follow."


Aubameyang's strike against Osasuna came after Ferran Torres had scored twice, one of those goals coming from the penalty spot, before Riqui Puig rounded off the scoring.

That was Puig's second goal for Barcelona, and a first on home soil, on what was just his third outing this calendar year.

"It's a big day for me," he told Barca TV. "It's one of the most important days of my life for scoring my first goal at the Camp Nou and I will celebrate it with my family and friends.

"The team has an idea that we didn't have before. We have some games that we have to win and we're really looking forward to them."

Barcelona moved up to third in LaLiga after Ferran Torres' brace and goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Riqui Puig sealed a routine 4-0 win over Osasuna at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Torres set Xavi's men on their way to a fourth consecutive top-flight win with a brace before the midway point of the first half, the first of which came from the penalty spot.

Aubameyang added a third before half-time and Puig wrapped up the scoring 15 minutes from full-time with a close-range finish. 

The Blaugrana, who are 12 points adrift of leaders Real Madrid, are level on points with fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, but have a game in hand on Diego Simeone's side.

Barca went ahead in the 14th minute, Torres stroking home from the penalty spot after Gavi had been brought down in the area by Nacho Vidal.

Torres scored his second seven minutes later, the Spain international coolly sliding the ball through the legs of Sergio Herrera after latching onto Ousmane Dembele's superb pass.

Dembele was again the provider for Barca's third in the 27th minute, with Aubameyang getting in front of his marker to prod home the France international's cross from close range.

Dembele and Aubameyang both went close to adding a fourth as Barca picked up where they left off at the start of the second period, while Gerard Pique saw an effort ruled out for offside. 

Herrera denied the excellent Dembele in the 70th minute, before Puig scored his first goal of the season two minutes after replacing Pedri, rounding Herrera and slotting in after the Osasuna goalkeeper had kept out his initial effort.


What does it mean? Supreme first-half display proves enough

Barca drew a blank in their Europa League clash against Galatasaray on Thursday despite dominating the game, but there was no such profligacy on show here.

They had an expected goals ratio of 2.3 in the first half – their highest value in the opening 45 minutes across all competitions this season – as they secured a 12th win in 14 home league games against Osasuna with the minimum of fuss. 

Torres finding his feet

Torres was electric in the first half, plundering his first LaLiga brace in what was his 78th appearance in the competition. That double came from just four shots, with the former Manchester City man having scored only once from his previous 16 attempts in the Spanish top flight.  

Dembele the provider

He did not get on the scoresheet, yet Dembele was central to Barca's success. The 24-year-old has now provided five assists in his last four LaLiga games – the joint most in the competition alongside Athletic Bilbao's Alex Berenguer and the same amount he managed in his previous 45 league games. 

What's next?

Barca travel to Galatasaray for the second leg of their last-16 tie on Thursday before El Clasico against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu three days later. Osasuna are next in action on Saturday when they host Levante in LaLiga.

Barcelona boss Xavi has been impressed by his side's January signings.

Xavi has overseen an unbeaten run of nine league matches, as his rejuvenated team chase Champions League qualification, while the Catalan giants also claimed a 5-3 aggregate win over Serie A title contenders Napoli in the Europa League. 

Barca's performances have been buoyed by the arrivals of Ferran Torres, Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the latter of the trio becoming just the fourth player to score in the Spanish, English, German, and French top flights this century when he netted a hat-trick in a 4-1 thrashing of Valencia last week.

Each of the trio then registered goal contributions in Barca's thrilling 4-2 win in Naples on Thursday, and Xavi was keen to highlight the impact that his new forwards have had on his side.

Borussia Dortmund should have a clear idea on Erling Haaland's future in the next six weeks, but their chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke insisted they can cope without their talisman.

Haaland has taken the Bundesliga by storm since he arrived from Salzburg in January 2020, scoring 80 goals in 79 appearances across all competitions – finding the net once every 80.5 minutes on average.

That has made him one of the most sought-after talents in European football, with a host of elite clubs circling for when his reported €75million release clause kicks in at the end of this season.

The 21-year-old is yet to declare his intentions, with Dortmund head coach Marco Rose suggesting he has not given up hope of retaining Haaland's services.

Dortmund chief Watzke revealed a conclusion to discussions will likely arrive soon, though he believes Rose's side will recover even if they lose their star striker.

When asked whether Dortmund can keep Haaland by n-tv, Watzke responded: "I don't know. That will certainly clear up in the next few weeks, maybe a month, maybe six weeks.

"If he decides to leave, we will deal with it the way we always have. We have lost a few goalscorers in the past: Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. We will find someone new again."


Dortmund have managed without Haaland for the past month after the forward, who has scored four goals in four games in all competitions to start 2022, sustained a muscle injury.

Rose's team have netted 25 times in eight matches this calendar year – trailing only Liverpool (31) and Real Betis (29) across Europe's top five leagues.

Dortmund will be hoping to continue that rich vein of scoring form when they look to overturn a 4-2 deficit at Rangers in the second leg of their Europa League knockout round play-off at Ibrox on Thursday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said it "would be an honour" to play alongside Erling Haaland at Barcelona.

Aubameyang made the switch to Camp Nou effectively on a free transfer in January after his Arsenal contract was cancelled amid a falling out with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

The Gabon striker may face competition in the form of Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland next season, with Barca among a plethora of clubs reportedly interested in signing one of world football's hottest properties.

Last month Barca president Joan Laporta did not rule out making a move, despite the club's well-documented financial woes, saying Los Cules are "still a point of reference in the transfer market".

If Haaland did arrive it could impact Aubameyang's playing time but the 32-year-old would love to have the Norway star as a team-mate.

"I'm always prepared for healthy competition with my team-mates, so it would be an honour to play with him if he ends up joining Barca," Aubameyang, who scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 LaLiga beating of Valencia on Sunday, told SPORT.

"I'm not a coach, but I think Haaland is a great player.

"He scores a lot of goals, he has a very good physique and a lot of speed. He is very big, but he runs a lot. He is incredible."

One player Aubameyang has reunited with at Barca is Ousmane Dembele, a prospect that was not necessarily a foregone conclusion last month.

Dembele was linked with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain and may still leave on a free transfer at the end of the season when his contract expires.

But Aubameyang did his part to try and convince Dembele to stay and continue a partnership that began when the pair were both playing at Dortmund.

"It is something very special because we had an incredible year in Dortmund and he is an incredible player," he added.

"Ousmane is one of the best with the ball and, for a striker, he is incredible.

"To tell the truth, I am very happy that he is here and when I arrived I told him: 'You have to stay, man.'"

When asked whether he thought Dembele would stay put, Aubameyang added: "I don't know, but the only thing I can say is that everything is possible in life."

Xavi and Sergio Busquets hailed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the former Arsenal man netted a hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-1 hammering of Valencia.

The Gabon striker netted either side of Frenkie De Jong's tap-in to give Barca a 3-0 half-time lead, before completing his treble in bizarre circumstances on the hour-mark, after Carlos Soler had pulled one back for Valencia.

Barcelona's fourth goal of Sunday's LaLiga contest was originally credited to Pedri, but has since been awarded to the 32-year-old, who got the slightest of touches on the youngster's long-range effort.

It was the first time Aubameyang, who was making his first LaLiga start, has scored multiple goals in a league game since he helped himself to a hat-trick for Arsenal against Leeds United 12 months ago, and Xavi was thrilled with the forward's contribution.

"He has scored goals his entire career," he said. 

"It was to be expected that he would score here soon too. He goes very well to [find] space, he is mature, he is very intelligent.

"I am delighted with him. These goals will be very good for him."

Aubameyang's opening goal made him just the fourth player to score in the Spanish, English, German, and French top flights this century, after Stevan Jovetic, Michy Batshuayi, and James Rodriguez, while the striker also became the first Gabonese player to net in LaLiga.


Barca captain Busquets was equally effusive in his praise for his new team-mate.

"He is working very well, he arrived with a lack of minutes, but he is getting them [now]. He is a great player and it is a luxury to have him in the squad, [especially] after arriving for free," Busquets said.

"Without Aubameyang's help, perhaps the goalkeeper would have been able to stop it [Barcelona's fourth goal]."

Although Pedri saw the final goal of the match taken away from him, the quality of his initial strike did not go unnoticed by Xavi, who said the midfielder is amongst the most talented players in world football.

"He is superlative," the Barca boss said. "At that level of talent, there is no other [player] in the world like Pedri, and he is only 19 years old.

"We ask him to shoot [more often]. We demand it, he has a good shot. He is very young and shy, but not everyone has the skills he has."

Barcelona moved into LaLiga's top four with the win, scoring four or more goals in a single away league game against Valencia for the first time since December 1993.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted his first goals for Barcelona as Xavi's team moved back into LaLiga's top four with a 4-1 thrashing of Valencia.

Aubameyang's double and one from Frenkie de Jong gave the visitors a commanding half-time lead at the Mestalla, with the hosts having two goals ruled out before the break.

Carlos Soler pulled one back for Valencia, before Pedri's superb strike added some gloss to the scoreline on the hour mark.

The victory moved the rejuvenated Catalan giants above Atletico Madrid into fourth place as they chase Champions League qualification.

After a scrappy start to the contest, Aubameyang netted his first goal for the Blaugrana on 22 minutes, racing onto Jordi Alba's pass before hammering home at Giorgi Mamardashvili's near post.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was handed a first start for Barcelona as Napoli arrived at Camp Nou on Thursday.

For the Europa League play-off first leg, former Arsenal striker Aubameyang was selected along with Ferran Torres and Adama Traore in a three-man frontline.

All three recently left the Premier League behind to join Barcelona, with former Manchester City man Torres and ex-Wolves forward Traore having already started for Xavi's team.

Aubameyang was named to start a first-team game at club level for the first time since he lined up for Arsenal against Manchester United on December 2.

He fell out of favour at Arsenal as his relationship with manager Mikel Arteta disintegrated, leading to the new start in Spain.

Head coach Xavi said of the Gabon striker on Wednesday: "I am very happy with him. He is very professional and very positive within the group."

Sergio Busquets and Gavi were rested to the bench as head coach Xavi made use of his squad, while there was a notable presence in the Napoli side as Victor Osimhen was passed fit.

The Nigeria striker did not train on Monday due to a minor knee problem but was given the green light to line up for Luciano Spalletti's team.

This was a clash of two of Diego Maradona's former clubs, who were vying for a place in the Europa League last-16 stage.

The only previous meeting between the teams in a major European competition occurred in the last 16 of the 2019-20 Champions League, when Barcelona won 4-2 on aggregate after a 3-1 win at Camp Nou.

Mikel Arteta insists he was "the solution, not the problem" in an apparently fractious relationship with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The forward, who scored 92 goals in 162 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal after joining from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, was released from his contract and joined Barcelona on deadline day.

It was a move that came about after the Gabon international had been stripped of the captaincy at Emirates Stadium following a disciplinary breach.

Aubameyang suggested that Arteta was the one at fault for the falling out, declaring at his Camp Nou presentation: "I think it was a problem just with him [Arteta].

"He made the decision. I can't say much more. He wasn't happy, I stayed very calm and that's it."

However, speaking ahead of the Gunners' trip to Wolves in the Premier League on Thursday, Arteta put a different spin on events.

"That's his opinion, that’s what he said and you have to respect that," he said.

"I’m extremely grateful for what Auba has done and his contribution.

"The way I see myself in that relationship is the solution, not the problem."

Aubameyang's departure came at the end of a transfer window in which Arsenal failed to strengthen, with January having also brought little cause for cheer on the pitch.

Arsenal were winless across five games in all competitions last month, exiting the FA Cup and EFL Cup along the way.

Despite the lack of incoming players, Arteta defended the club's approach.

"We did what we believed was the right thing to do," he said. "The squad composition and contracts were catching up, be fair with players who haven't had a lot of minutes.

"We had a clear plan of what we can do, but then it has to be doable.

"Edu [technical director] and his team have done a great job. We are very clear we only want the best people and the best players at this club.

"When we are in a rush and the reasons to get a player on board are not the right ones we didn’t do it."

Arteta's side sit sixth in the table, four points behind fourth-placed West Ham but with three games in hand.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang believes he can become a Champions League winner with Barcelona and expects Xavi to use him as a number nine.

Released by Arsenal after a turbulent end to his Gunners career, Aubameyang described coming to Barcelona as "the opportunity of my life".

The 32-year-old forward has been brought in to add experience and goals to a Barcelona team who have been short on both counts this season.

For all the talented youngsters being brought through, Barcelona sit fifth in LaLiga after 21 games, having won only nine times so far.

Aubameyang follows Ferran Torres and Adama Traore in leaving the Premier League for Camp Nou in recent weeks, and while Barcelona have already been knocked out of this season's Champions League, the latest addition to Xavi's squad sees no reason why they should not be successful there next term.

"Barca is a great club that has to win the Champions League. That's why I came to Barca," Aubameyang said at his presentation.

"It's an opportunity to win the Champions League, and I'm here to do everything we can to get back into the Champions League and then go out and win it.

"It's true that I've not played for a little while, but in my head everything's very clear, and I'll be ready soon to play and help out, and I know we're going to go back to the top little by little.

"I have spoken with the coach. He sees me playing as a number nine, and I will be ready very soon to play there. If he needs me on the wing, there will be no problem with that."

Barcelona have scored just 32 goals in LaLiga so far in 2021-22, the seventh-most in the competition. This is despite them having the second-highest expected goals (xG) total of 36.9 (beaten only by Real Madrid's 44.58).

The xG metric looks at the quality of a team's chances, rather than the quality of finishing, and by bringing in Torres and Aubameyang, Barcelona will hope they can begin to make better use of their opportunities.

Aubameyang said the move had felt "like a dream" and he was "not ready to wake up", but the mention of Erling Haaland from reporters at his presentation may have been a momentary reality check.

For all that Aubameyang may bring this season, Barcelona are already looking for newer additions, and 21-year-old striker Haaland has been long linked with the club.

The Norwegian is starring for another of Aubameyang's former teams, Borussia Dortmund, and Barcelona president Joan Laporta ushered away enquiries at Thursday's presentation when Haaland's name was raised.

Aubameyang has scored seven goals this season at one every 159.29 minutes, while Haaland has hit 23 for Dortmund, finding the back of the net every 70.35 minutes.

"Today we're occupied and very excited with Aubameyang," Laporta said. "In June, we will strengthen the squad. We're on the right track.

"Right now, we're occupied with the present and the immediate. What we want is to try and compete for the league, and also win of course the Europa League, which are the competitions that remain today.

"That's the state of affairs today. With regard to players, it's of course work for the technical staff. There are interesting players, and we will evaluate the opportunity to incorporate those, but I'm not going to talk about that now."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is holding out hope that he can be reunited with contract rebel Ousmane Dembele in the Barcelona team.

Dembele has resisted calls to sign new terms to extend his contract, that runs out at the end of this season, and that stance has seen him exiled from matchday squads.

Barcelona were frustrated they could not sell Dembele in January, amid reported strong interest from Paris Saint-Germain, and they face losing him on a free transfer unless he can be persuaded to commit.

The 24-year-old French winger played with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund in the 2016-17 season, and they remain close.

"I've got to tell you the truth, he's training really well," Aubameyang said at his Camp Nou presentation on Thursday.

"If anything, as a friend of Ousmane, I hope he and the club will find a solution.

"Knowing Ousmane as a player, he's a fantastic player of course. Like I said before, I hope that he finds an answer. This is something I can't decide."

Aubameyang joined the LaLiga giants after being released from his contract with Arsenal, agreeing a deal until June 2025 with an option to cut ties earlier, in June 2023. The deal includes a buy-out clause of €100million.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said Aubameyang had made "a sacrifice" to come to Barcelona, seemingly firming up the recent suggestion he has taken a pay cut.

"You know that once we have a more healthy financial situation, we will help you as you are helping Barca now," Laporta told Aubameyang.

The 32-year-old Barcelona new recruit fell out of favour with Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, resulting in him losing the captaincy at Emirates Stadium and being left out of recent squads.

Aubameyang was accused of failing to show the right level of commitment, and was punished for disciplinary breaches.

"He wasn't happy and that was it," said Aubameyang, when asked about Arteta. "I can't say anything else because that's what happened. I'm better this way.

"There were some complicated months. Sometimes football is like that. On my behalf, I never wanted to do anything bad, but OK, now I have to put this behind me."

The Gabon international added: "I'm very happy and very grateful to you, Mr President, for signing me. This is an honour for me to be here, to play for Barca, so I'm very happy.

"I hope to score an awful lot of goals for Barca. I've always had the dream to play in LaLiga. I think this is an incredible opportunity that I've dreamt of since I was a child.

"This is the opportunity of my life."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has said it is "amazing" to have Xavi as a coach after completing his move to Barcelona.

Aubameyang joined the LaLiga giants after being released from his contract with Arsenal, agreeing a contract until June 2025 with an option to cut ties earlier, in June 2023. It includes a buy-out clause of €100million.

The 32-year-old fell out with previous manager, Mikel Arteta, resulting in him losing the captaincy at the Emirates Stadium and being left out of recent squads.

Speaking to the club's official social media, Aubameyang spoke of his admiration for Xavi, a Barca legend and World Cup winner, saying: "I think that's amazing to have [Xavi] as a coach. He has been a fantastic player that everyone knows, and I'm sure that as a coach he will bring us something that we will learn, definitely."

The Gabon international also spoke of his pride in making the move to the Blaugrana, explaining that his main goal is to help them get back into the Champions League.

"I am very proud [to be here], especially because my family is Spanish as well from my mother's side so I'm just really proud and happy to be here," he said.

"My main goal is to help the team and to give everything I can to bring the team back in the Champions League. I am just happy to be here and I will try to give everything."

Another January signing was La Masia graduate Adama Traore, who joined on loan from Wolves.

However, at a media conference to present the winger, it was another wide forward already at the club who stole the headlines as for the second day in a row, Barca president Joan Laporta openly criticised Ousmane Dembele for not agreeing to a January move away from Camp Nou.

The club had been hoping to ship the France international out, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly agreeing terms with Dembele over the weekend, but a move did not materialise.

Barca are still struggling financially as the club attempts to bounce back from previous years of mismanagement, and on Tuesday at another news conference to reveal details of the forensic review into financial irregularities by the previous regime, Laporta responded to questions on Dembele, saying he could not understand why the player had not left in January.

He followed this up with more comments on Wednesday, telling reporters: "Our [contract] offer [to Dembele] expired on December 20 and after that, there was no other proposal. We saw a lack of interest in renewing and accepting our offer which was really good. We tried to fix things but there were no options available."

Dembele, who played with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund, is out of contract in the summer, and Laporta has said it will be up to Xavi whether he plays for the club again, while also indicating his belief that the Frenchman - who has suffered numerous injuries since arriving in Spain - has been disappointing since his big money move in 2017.

"We have a player with a contract that expires in June and the player is at the disposal of the coach, so the coach is the one who will decide whether he plays or not," he added. "But Xavi is just as surprised as all of us that Dembele has not renewed his contract.

"We invested a lot of money and we wanted to see that investment on the ground more often, but we came out a little disappointed."

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