Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele could favour a move to Chelsea over other clubs, which would mean reuniting with Thomas Tuchel after previously working together at Borussia Dortmund.
There are no guarantees that Dembele will leave Camp Nou before Monday night’s transfer deadline, despite strong links with Paris Saint-Germain emerging over the weekend.
If Dembele does not complete a move away from Barcelona, he is highly likely to leave as a free agent in the summer, with negotiations over a new contract previously breaking down.
The 24-year-old’s rumoured preference for some time has been the Premier League and a number of English clubs have been linked. Manchester United and Chelsea are among them, although L’Equipe notes that neither is interested in pursuing a late January approach.
Both, however, could be in the hunt for a free summer transfer. In that scenario, it is suggested in France that Chelsea would be his preference because of how much he enjoyed playing for Tuchel at Dortmund, and the prospect of moving to London is also said to be appealing.
As far as a timeframe, it is said that unless a January deal to somewhere is pushed through, a decision on Dembele’s future beyond this season is expected in March or April.
Dembele was barely out of his teenage years when he joined Barcelona from Dortmund in the summer of 2017, becoming the third most expensive player in the world at that time thanks to a deal worth up to €145m.
Injuries have plagued his time in Spain, limiting the him to 87 La Liga appearances in four and a half years. He did start a run of games after returning from his most recent absence in November and Barcelona coach Xavi has previously expressed his admiration for Dembele.