Ousmane Dembele responds to Raheem Sterling transfer to Chelsea
France international striker Ousmane Dembele could be available for free, but Chelsea will have to compete with their current club Barcelona as they seek to agree on terms.
Chelsea target Ousmane Dembele has reportedly been disappointed by the Blues’ interest as Thomas Tuchel’s side also remain interested in Raheem Sterling.
A move to Stamford Bridge would see Dembele reunited with Tuchel, having thrived under the German Borussia Dortmund boss. However, current club Barcelona are still keen to keep the France international on board after finishing last season strong, with manager Xavi reaching out directly.
Dembele isn’t the only striker 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 disappointed with Chelsea’s approach, potentially opening the door for an extended stay at Camp Nou.
As Sport report (via Metro), Chelsea’s offer for Dembele is considerably lower than the player expected. The same report suggests that the player’s representatives fear Chelsea’s affection for Sterling may have played a role in the amount of compensation offered.
Barcelona have made efforts to cut some of their highest earners. They would have disagreed with the £97million over an extension, but until he makes a definitive statement on his future he could still stay in Catalonia.
Barca themselves have other deals to consider, with Raphinha among their targets. The Leeds United man is represented by ex-Barcelona midfielder Deco which could give them an edge but no agreement has been reached on a fee for the Brazilian who is valued at £65million.
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After sustaining an injury on duty in France at Euro 2020, Dembele has entered the final year of his contract at Barcelona on the treatment table. He only made his first appearance of the campaign in November, with his first start of the season in the final Champions League group game, as Xavi’s side were knocked out of the competition early.
However, despite his season being reduced, the striker has bagged 13 La Liga assists. No player has achieved 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 saw them linked with a number of new additions. However, with central defense being the most urgent area after the departure of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, it is unclear how many new forwards they will be able to add.
Some of their activities may also depend on departures. The Blues are reportedly ready to listen to offers for Hakim Ziyech, while Timo Werner has been linked with a move to Juventus in a deal that could see Matthijs de Ligt move to west London.