Chelsea are leading the race to sign Ousmane Dembele, with the forward set to leave Barcelona at the end of his contract this summer.
The Blues have been linked with the 25-year-old for some time and are looking to reunite the player with manager Thomas Tuchel after the pair spent a season together at Borussia Dortmund.
talkSPORT report that Dembele has failed to agree new terms with the Catalan club and is now set to leave the Nou Camp and Chelsea are ready to pounce and will make the Frenchman the first signing of the Todd Boehy era.
Dembele experienced a meteoric rise after showing great potential at Rennes and then Dortmund, moving to Barcelona in 2017 in a deal worth up to £126million.
He was earmarked as the successor to Neymar who had departed for Paris Saint-German the same summer, but it quickly became clear that those boots were too big to fill, with continuous injury problems hampering his development.
In five years in Spain, Dembele has scored just 32 goals in 150 appearances, although he still managed to win two La Liga titles and two Copa del Reys and was a part of the France squad that lifted the 2018 World Cup.
Chelsea already have a plethora of expensive, attacking options at Stamford Bridge, including Romelu Lukaku, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz, although they still lack a consistent goalscorer in their squad.
Dembele on paper would not fit that bill, having scored just one league goal in the past season, but he did show great creativity by registering 13 assists.
While he may be available on a free, Dembele will likely command a significant salary which may prove tricky for Chelsea’s new owners, although other reports suggest that Inter Milan are willing to take Lukaku back on loan which could free up room on the wage bill for the French forward.
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