Chelsea are in talks to sign Ousmane Dembele with the unsettled Barcelona attacker’s agent believed to be in London for crucial negotiations, according to various reports.
Dembele has failed to justify his huge price-tag following his £135m move from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 as the French international has struggled with a series on injury issues during his time at Barcelona.
The 24-year-old has been restricted to making just 87 La Liga appearances over the past five seasons and with just six months left on his current deal, the winger has fallen out with the Spanish giants after failing to agree terms over an extension.
Barcelona president Mateu Alemany confirmed last week that Dembele would be sold this month if he didn’t sign a new contract soon – something the La Liga outfit didn’t expect to happen as they feel the player has made it clear he doesn’t want to remain at the club.
Alemany is quoted by Football London as saying:
“It is clear that Dembele does not want to continue with Barcelona. He does not want to be part of our project. We told Dembele he has to leave immediately. We expect Ousmane to be sold before January 31.”
The situation has alerted a number of top clubs throughout Europe and Football London claims Chelsea are among those showing a keen interest in signing the French international.
It appears the Blues have now stepped-up their pursuit as the Daily Mail are citing Spanish journalist Alfredo Martinez as saying that Chelsea are in negotiations with Dembele and may even have an agreement in place.
Martinez is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying:
‘Everything indicates that Chelsea is the club that is negotiating and that they may even have something agreed with Dembele.’
Speculation over a possible move to Stamford Bridge has been fuelled further as Football London cites the chief editor of the Barca Times, Shay Lugassi, as saying that Dembele’s agent is in London for a ‘crucial meeting’.
We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming days but it appears highly likely that Dembele will be leaving Barcelona before the end of the window with Chelsea in the mix for his signature.
Thomas Tuchel knows the attacker well having worked together during their time at Dortmund and he’d give the German coach another top class option in attack, but only time will tell whether they’ll be reunited in West London.