Chelsea remain in pole position to sign Ousmane Dembele on a free transfer this summer, according to reports.
After Todd Boehly’s consortium completed their takeover of the club before the UK government’s May 31 deadline, Chelsea (opens in new tab) are ready to step up their interest in several key transfer targets.
Dembele is among the players on the Blues’ radar, with talkSPORT (opens in new tab) reporting that they are at the front of the queue to sign him.
The France international has entered the final few weeks of his Barcelona (opens in new tab) contract and it looks increasingly likely that he will be plying his trade elsewhere once next season gets under way.
Chelsea are not the only club interested in a player who cost Barcelona £135.5m when they signed him as Neymar’s replacement in 2017.
PSG (opens in new tab) are also keeping close tabs on the situation, although an official move for Dembele may have to wait until Luis Campos is installed as the club’s new sporting director.
The winger has struggled for form and fitness at the Camp Nou, although he remains capable of moments of brilliance.
Even so, Dembele appears to have concluded that he needs to leave Barcelona to kick-start his career elsewhere.
Thomas Tuchel was the Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) manager during Dembele’s solitary season at Signal Iduna Park in 2016/17.
Dembele was a revelation that year and he would welcome the opportunity to work with Tuchel again in west London.
Chelsea are thought to be keen to revamp their attack this summer, and there are likely to be departures in that department too.
Romelu Lukaku has been linked with a return to former club Inter (opens in new tab), while Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic face uncertain futures too.
Chelsea will also be working hard on deals for defenders, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on the way out.
Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta could also leave Stamford Bridge this summer, with Barcelona interested in both Spaniards.