Chelsea will more than likely sign Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele in the summer to add another attacking option, according to one pundit.
The 24-year-old will now play out an uncertain end to his Barca contract following his failure to leave in January. While Barcelona wanted to sell him last month, they eventually had no takers.
Meanwhile, Barcelona manager Xavi added Ferran Torres, Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as attacking options. As such, it remains unclear what role Dembele will play before he becomes a free agent in the summer.
Reports have claimed that Barcelona have grown suspicious of Dembele’s deadline day activity.
Indeed, he reportedly ignored interest from Chelsea, Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain. Barcelona therefore reportedly believe that the Frenchman has agreed a deal with either Manchester United or Juventus.
According to former Premier League star Carlton Palmer, though, Chelsea will snap Dembele up in the summer. The pundit stressed that Blues boss Thomas Tuchel’s past relationship with the player at Borussia Dortmund will prove crucial.
“I do [see Dembele signing for Chelsea],” Palmer told Give Me Sport. “The Premier League is where everybody wants to play.
“So, I do see that as a deal that could be done in the summer, especially with him available on a free transfer.
“He’s worked with Tuchel before, Tuchel knows him, so it’s a perfect fit. I can 100 per cent see that happening in the summer, especially given that he’s going to be available on a free transfer.”
Tuchel worked with Dembele for one year at Dortmund. However, he admitted last month that their partnership “should have been longer”.
Nevertheless, the manager insisted that he feels “very fortunate” to have worked with Dembele.
The winger subsequently moved to Barcelona in a big-money move in 2017. Since then, though, he has struggled for game time and form due to persistent injury problems.
Barcelona chief hits out at Dembele agents
Speaking at a recent press conference, Barcelona president Joan Laporta hit out at Dembele’s representatives for their antics in the past six months over their client’s future.
Indeed, Dembele got to this situation after his camp reportedly delayed declaring a final decision over his future.
Laporta said: “We made him a very good renewal offer.
“The player said no, first alleging that it was not a money issue, but then he focused on the economic aspect. The agent did not tell us anything and that has consequences for the club.
“I am very surprised that he did not accept a proposal he had from an English club. He did not want to. It did not make sense, because it was not good for him or for the club. He would have allowed us to work with more tranquillity in the market.
“The Dembele issue is difficult to understand. Dembele is in the team and Xavi [Hernandez] has to build a competitive squad with players who have a future at this club.
“We think that Dembele already has a contract with another club; they have insinuated that to us. What we will do is defend the interests of the club.”
Should Chelsea sign Dembele in the summer, he would add to Tuchel’s wealth of attacking options including Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic.