Xavi has told Ousmane Dembele that he must sign a new contract at Barcelona or else he will be sold before the January transfer window closes.
Dembele has spent the last four-and-a-half seasons at Camp Nou, having initially joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for €145 million (£121m/$164m) in 2017, but now only has six months left to run on his contract.
Barca have been trying to tie the 24-year-old down for several months but there has been no sign of a final agreement being reached, and Xavi has now warned the winger that he is running out of time to make a decision.
What's been said?
Dembele has been linked with Chelsea and Bayern Munich among a whole host of other top European clubs, and his current manager admits that a winter transfer is a possibility.
“The message is clear. Ousmane Dembele has to sign a new contract or we find a way to sell him in January. No other way," Xavi said in a press conference on Wednesday.
"What I can say is that we are making a difficult decision. If he does not renew, the club has decided that they will make a decision. We have waited a long time, we have been in talks with him for five months. Either he renews or a solution is sought.
"I've been very honest with him, it's not an easy situation. All or nothing. We feel bad, but what comes first are the interests of the club.
"It is not contemplated that he stays in the stands. I have been very clear with Ousmane."
Xavi hits back at Dembele's agent
Dembele's agent Moussa Sissoko has added extra fuel to the ongoing transfer rumours by questioning the way Barca have treated his client since his return from coronavirus-enforced quarantine.
“Everyone talks about money. But it’s not only money for us," Sissoko said earlier this month.
“Also the management with the player day to day is very important. How can he play right after getting Covid without even training?”
Xavi has now issued a response to Dembele's agent, insisting that the Frenchman has never expressed any unhappiness or desire to leave.
“I also wonder about the agent talking the way he is and Dembele, on the other hand, telling me he wants to stay. I can’t understand," he added.
How has Dembele performed in 2021-22?
Dembele missed two games while recovering from Covid-19 and has sat out another 16 through injury this season.
Fitness issues have dogged the former Dortmund star throughout his time at Barca, and he has struggled to rediscover his best form since returning to action after the Christmas break.
Dembele has appeared in 11 games across all competitions in 2021-22 so far and has only managed to record one goal and two assists, with a Copa del Rey last-16 clash against Athletic Club up next on Thursday.