La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are quietly confident that Ousmane Dembele will sign a new deal at Camp Nou amid interest from Chelsea.
According to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Ousmane Dembele’s Barcelona contract might be set to run out imminently, but the Catalan giants trust him to accept the terms they have offered. The French forward is a target for Chelsea, but the Blues have turned their focus towards Raphinha.
Ousmane Dembele is on the cusp of officially becoming a free agent, with his Barcelona contract running out in less than 24 hours. The soap opera surrounding the 25-year-old winger has dragged on for six months, as Mateu Alemany’s first announcement surrounding Dembele came back in January.
Since then, the French international has turned his fortunes around on the field, having ended the 2021/22 La Liga campaign with the most assists (13) despite playing only 21 games. But he has continued to be at odds with Barcelona over the terms of a new contract, with his current deal running out on July 1. Such a situation has captured the attention of Chelsea.
The Blues are undergoing a squad overhaul this summer following a disappointing 2021/22 season. Chelsea will forcefully need to bolster the defensive department after the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen as free agents, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso also facing uncertain futures at Stamford Bridge amid links with Barcelona.
But the attacking department needs special attention from new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, with Romelu Lukaku, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner all flattering to deceive this past season. The west Londoners have already shipped out Lukaku, with the Belgian international rejoining Inter Milan on loan. And at least one of Ziyech, Pulisic and Werner will also leave Chelsea.
Ziyech has recently emerged on the radar of AC Milan, with Pulisic and Werner attracting interest from clubs in England and abroad. Dembele is thus a viable target for Chelsea, with the Blues once even becoming the front-runners to sign the Barcelona forward. But recent reports have suggested that Chelsea might have switched attention away from Dembele after Leeds United accepted their bid for Raphinha, a target for Barcelona.
That has given Barcelona the impetus to have their contract offer accepted by Dembele. But it looks like the 2018 FIFA World Cup might officially become a free agent before he commits his long-term future to the Blaugrana. Nonetheless, the Catalan giants remain optimistic about retaining the services of Dembele beyond the summer transfer window.