Chelsea quietly confident of luring Ousmane Dembele to Stamford Bridge
Chelsea are quietly confident of capitalising on the uncertainty surrounding Ousmane Dembele’s future by striking an agreement to take him to Stamford Bridge, 90min understands.
The Barcelona winger’s contract expires at the end of June. He was put up for sale in January with talks over a new deal at an impasse due to his wage demands, but ultimately stayed at Camp Nou for the second half of the season.
Negotiations have resumed in the months since and 90min understands Barcelona have come closer to matching Dembele’s lofty aspirations, although they are still not confident he will put pen to paper. Club president Joan Laporta has even been forced to set a deadline for the player to make his decision.
Paris Saint-Germain have also tabled an offer for the France international, but upheaval behind the scenes at Parc des Princes could see them turn their attentions elsewhere. PSG’s proposal came under sporting director Leonardo, but he is expected to be sacked and replaced by the renowned Luis Campos – who is not among Dembele’s admirers.
That could give Chelsea a straight run at the soon-to-be free agent, and there is a quiet confidence that they can get their man now that the club’s takeover is nearing completion.
90min previously revealed that the Blues planned to resume talks with the Frenchman once Todd Boehly was officially installed as their new owner. Head coach Thomas Tuchel wants to strengthen in a number of areas, including in attack, where Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech’s futures are uncertain.
Dembele is also believed to be keen on moving to London.
However, sources have told 90min that Bayern Munich could complicate matters. Die Roten have held talks with Dembele’s representatives since their own contract discussions with wide man Serge Gnabry stalled.
Dembele is now preparing to enter the final month of his Barcelona contract with his future no closer to being resolved, and his agent Moussa Sissoko has confirmed his client ‘remains open’ to all possibilities
Ousmane’s future remains open and we are not going to enter into endless speculation,” Sissoko told Goal.
“When the time is right, Ousmane will take the best option. We are and have always been very respectful of all the clubs and we will continue in the same way as long as the process continues.
“When the time is right to make a decision, Ousmane will consider what is the best option for his future
Jules Kounde’s Chelsea comments speak volumes as £50m transfer ‘only a matter of time’
Jules Kounde has emerged as Chelsea’s top target once again after his transfer to Stamford Bridge fell through 12 months ago, with Thomas Tuchel hoping lightning won’t strike twice
Chelsea have turned to a familiar face in Jules Kounde following Antonio Rudiger’s exit to Real Madrid.
Thomas Tuchel will have a new-look defence next season following the German’s departure, with Andreas Christensen set to follow suit with a proposed move to Barcelona. Kounde has emerged as the Blues’ top target once again after his transfer to Stamford Bridge fell through 12 months ago.
Chelsea were in talks with Sevilla for the duration of the summer window and the defender looked on the verge of joining until the deal collapsed at the final hurdle, much to to the West Londoners’ dismay.
Tuchel’s side are making a second attempt to sign the Frenchman, however, and it is ‘only a matter of time’ before a deal is completed, worth around £51.5million, according to Diario AS. Chelsea have been given the green light to make signings after Todd Bohely’s takeover was completed last week.
Speaking about his failed move to Chelsea, Kounde said in September: “As always, we all know it was a lively summer. Now it is over. I am concentrating on the team, on what I have to do.
“The team needs me and I need the team to perform at our best. At the moment, I am happy with the results, with how I am playing, though I have a lot of room to improve and to have a more complete season than last season.”
Kounde would have been equally gutted last year with the player on the verge of a life-altering move, but he didn’t let that feeling of disappointment linger too long as he turned his attention to the season ahead with Sevilla.
The 23-year-old showed a level of maturity to put it to the back of his mind, remaining professional throughout the campaign as he impressed for the Spanish side knowing that if he focused matters on the pitch, his future would sort itself out
Kounde’s level-headed reaction to the deal collapsing would have likely vindicated Chelsea’s interest in the centre-half and, if anything, would have encouraged them to go back in for the defender.
And things have started to fall into place for Chelsea this time around. Sevilla are said to be in financial trouble, having already sold Diego Carlos to Aston Villa, meaning they won’t stand in the way of Kounde’s departure at the second time of asking, as the team may need him to join Chelsea to allay their cash fears.
Kounde has reaped the rewards for his patience, too. As Rudiger and Christensen seek pastures new, he will have a clear run at the starting XI, something that wasn’t guaranteed 12 months ago. They say good things come to those who wait – and that appears to be the case for Chelsea and Kounde.
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