It’s a mixture of good and bad news for Chelsea in regards to their attacking rebuild, with one winger keen on a move and the other looking set to stay put where he is
Two big updates have been delivered in relation to Chelsea’s pursuit of attacking duo Raheem Sterling and Ousmane Dembélé.
Starting off with the positive news, and with Todd Boehly’s focus on signing the Manchester City winger as his marquee signing and attacking priority this summer, it was expected that this deal would be done very soon. Especially now that the current Premier League Champions have agreed to sell Arsenal-bound Gabriel Jesus for around £45million, pending an official announcement on the deal being confirmed.
But that is expected imminently and when that happens, focus will switch to completing the deal for England international Sterling, with Thomas Tuchel keen on this deal to be done in the very near future. The Blues’ first bid of around £35m, which was submitted by outgoing director Marina Granovskaia, was rejected outright as the Citizens hold out for somewhere closer to £55m.
It is expected that a compromise of around £45m will be reached and by the sounds of it, maybe that fee has already been agreed behind the scenes. This is because The Athletic’s Man City correspondent Sam Lee had confirmed that both Jesus and Sterling exits were now both ‘done deals.’ Details on the fees involved haven’t been confirmed but this admission is a sign of good things to come for Chelsea fans.
He said in The Athletic’s ‘ Why always us podcast’: “I’ve spoken to someone last week who reckons and has been told Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling are done deals.” football.london understands that reports of a ‘done deal’ may be a little premature, with Chelsea ‘ready’ to submit their second bid, whilst also preparing to open talks on personal terms talk with him.
Now for the bad news as far as Chelsea supporters are concerned. After making his intentions known on holiday with his transfer bombshell, it seems like Dembele really meant what he said – he’s happy at Barca at wants to stay.
Various reports in Spain are claiming that a new contract has been signed already, although that doesn’t appear to be the case just yet. His intentions are to stay but no new and improved offer has come his way as of yet. If and when he does, it is expected that the Frenchman will commit after talks with Xavi appear to have convinced him to stay and snub a potential Tuchel reunion.
CBS journalist Ben Jacobs has clarified what has gone on with the 25-year-old with his thread of tweets, stating: “Barca sources talking with confidence that Ousmane Dembele will stay. At no point have Chelsea agreed terms so it’s really his only option unless something dramatic changes in the next 24 hours. No truth whatsoever in a late Liverpool bid. No interest at all. No PSG offer either.
“Situation remains the same: Dembele must decide within 48 hours. Chelsea interest is real but they won’t match his wage demands. If a formal offer materialises it will be higher than the renewal offer but for now Dembele only has one choice: sign or be without a club.”
Further context from Barcelona specialist Gerard Romero has outlined the exact contract demands that are set to be accepted by his agent when they are made formally his way: “The renewal offer for Ousmane Dembele is €6m (£5m) clean + €1.5m (£1.3m) in variables, without commission to his agent, Moussa Sissoko,” he said.
With Dembele to Chelsea now looking increasingly unlikely to come to fruition, alternative target Raphinha now comes into the picture. Barca keeping hold of their No. 7 should rule them out the race for the Leeds United star. However, the Blues have now been given the chance to enter the fray and it has already been revealed that Boehly has held talks, just like Arsenal director Edu, with the agent of the Brazilian.
Whether or not Boehly follows up on these talks to make an official offer remains to be seen but while one door has closed with Dembele, another may have opened with Raphinha.
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