Barcelona to try one last time to retain Chelsea target Ousmane Dembele
In eight days’ time, Ousmane Dembele will officially be a free agent and Barcelona head coach Xavi is aware that the clock is ticking. There has been substantial interest from Chelsea and Paris St-Germain, although none of the clubs have entered into advanced negotiations yet.
Daily Mail claim that Xavi has pleaded with the Barcelona hierarchy to make one final push to renew Dembele’s contract. Apparently, Xavi and the coaching staff fear missing out on key transfer targets due to the club’s ongoing financial difficulties.
A video which recently surfaced on social media showed Dembele interacting with a fan while on holiday, during which he says “I am fine in Barcelona” in response to Chelsea rumours.
Whether it was a case of remaining tightlipped or an indication of Dembele’s true desire, one cannot say for sure. What is certain, however, is that the Frenchman won’t be having any shortage of clubs vying for his signature.
Chelsea and Paris St-Germain are the two biggest names in line for Dembele, with the Blues potentially having an edge due to the presence of boss Thomas Tuchel.
Much has been said about Dembele’s relationship with Tuchel. The pair spent one season together at Borussia Dortmund, where the German helped nurture Dembele’s explosive talent into one of Europe’s best.
Dembele’s maiden season in Dortmund yellow resulted in 10 goals and 22 assists in 50 games for him. Such numbers obviously drew a lot of attention, and Barcelona shelled out a massive amount to avail one of the world’s brightest young talents.
Erratic form and several injuries have gotten in the 25-year-old’s way from reaching his peak potential, and it is increasingly likely now that his future lies outside of Spain.
What does this mean for Chelsea?
The Blues don’t seem to be in any rush to sign Dembele and understandably so. Chelsea have other matters to fix, like their boardroom situation which suggests that Club Director Marina Granovskaia is on the verge of relinquishing her position.
Fabrizio Romano has claimed that a statement on Granovskaia’s future is imminent, so we can expect the dust to settle on that front very soon.
Unless there is clarity on who is doing what, incoming transfers are likely to take a backseat although not for very long. Football London had previously stated that Dembele is currently on holiday. Hence, any decision on his future is likely to be made only after he returns from vacation.
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His age, talent, and experience of playing in France, Germany, and Spain would certainly serve as evidence that he has what it takes to be an instant starter for Tuchel- were he to reunite with the German boss this summer.
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