French international forward Ousmane Dembele could be available for free, but Chelsea will have to compete with his current club Barcelona as they look to agree terms
Chelsea target Ousmane Dembele has reportedly been left underwhelmed by the Blues’ interest, as Thomas Tuchel’s side also remain keen on Raheem Sterling.
A move to Stamford Bridge would see Dembele reunited with Tuchel, having thrived under the German boss at Borussia Dortmund. However, current club Barcelona are still keen to keep then French international on board after he finished last season strongly, with manager Xavi reaching out directly.
Dembele isn’t the only forward to be linked with the Blues, with Raheem Sterling also being considered if the England star opts to leave Manchester City. Now, according to reports on the continent, the Barca man is underwhelmed by Chelsea’s approach, potentially opening the door for an extended stay at Camp Nou.
As reported by Sport (via Metro ), Chelsea’s offer to Dembele is considerably less than the player had been expecting. The same report suggests the player’s representatives are concerned Chelsea’s fondness for Sterling may have played a part in the size of the compensation offered.
Barcelona have been making efforts to talk some of their higher earners into reduced terms. They had reportedly been at odds with the £97m over an extension, but until he makes a definitive statement on his future he could yet stay in Catalunya.
Barca themselves have other deals to consider, with Raphinha among their targets. The Leeds United man is represented by former Barcelona midfielder Deco, potentially giving them an upper hand, but no agreement has been reached on a fee for the £65m-rated Brazilian.
After suffering an injury on France duty at Euro 2020, Dembele began the final year of his Barcelona contract on the treatment table. He only made his first appearance of the campaign in November, with his first start of the season coming in the final Champions League group game as Xavi’s team were eliminated early from the competition.
However, despite his season being curtailed, the forward notched 13 La Liga assists. No player managed more for any team, and the contribution was enough to help Barcelona recover from a poor start to the season and claim second place.
Chelsea’s first summer under the ownership of Todd Boehly has seen them linked with a number of new additions. However, with central defence the most urgent area after the departure of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, it remains unclear how many new forwards they will be able to add.
Some of their business may depend on departures, as well. The Blues are reportedly prepared to listen to offers for Hakim Ziyech, while Timo Werner has been linked with a Juventus move as part of a deal which could see Matthijs de Ligt move to west London
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