Dembele's contract expires in the summer of 2022 and Barcelona are trying to sign the forward to a new deal. However, the process is taking its time.
"There is a process, one that is going slower that we would like," Laporta said.
"I can't tell you anything specific because we're still working on it.
"Dembele is a very important player for us and he can give much more than he has to date. He can be a leading player if we manage to keep him. We'll keep working for him to stay.
"The contractual situation is what it is and it is something we inherited, but we hope he can stay here."
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