Ousmane Dembele was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea in the summer and the Blues have been handed a lifeline should they reignite interest
Barcelona’s French forward Ousmane Dembele reacts during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and RC Celta de Vigo at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 10, 2022
Chelsea have been handed a lifeline in the club’s mission to sign Ousmane Dembele. The 25-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer as clubs queued up for the chance to sign one of Europe’s most exciting forwards free of charge.
News Diet understand that the Blues were interested in signing Dembele, with former Blues boss Thomas Tuchel known to be a big admirer of the France international. The west Londoners proved unsuccessful in their efforts to land the winger and he penned a two-year extension at the Camp Nou.
However, according to a report from France, there is a clause in Dembele’s contract at Barcelona which leaves the door open to an exit. L’Equipe state that there’s a €50million (£43.6million) release clause in the Frenchman’s deal which is valid for next summer.
This hands Chelsea a lifeline should they look to reignite interest in Dembele. Graham Potter has since replaced Tuchel at the helm of Stamford Bridge and it remains to be seen whether the Barcelona star is still of interest to the club.
However, it could be difficult to prise Dembele away from the Catalan side having already insisted that he wishes for a long future at the club alongside head coach Xavi. Speaking to Spanish outlet ‘Sport’, as quoted by Marca, the winger said: “My relationship with Xavi is special.
“I want to stay by his side for a long time. Undoubtedly, Xavi has been key to continue. Also the president, I talk a lot with both of them. I’m fine. Everyone is happy now.”
If Chelsea were to make a move for Dembele then the Frenchman would likely hamper the first-team opportunities of Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is currently on loan at Bayer Leverkusen and set to return to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. The Cobham graduate is said to still be in the Blues’ plans moving forward, casting doubt over a move for the Barcelona star.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Hudson-Odoi said: “When a club is trying to get a player [on loan], they always want that option to buy at the end of the season. Todd was saying: ‘Listen, we want you back here.’
“You’re still on the radar of being wanted by the club. The way he’s trying to set it up, there are a lot of young players he’s trying to buy for the next few years. It shows he wants to integrate the players into the team and help them develop.”