Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures
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Chelsea are frontrunners for Raheem Sterling amid uncertainty over his future at Manchester City. But Ousmane Dembele is also on their radar, with the France international’s future at Barcelona yet to be clarified. Dubbed better than Kylian Mbappe in the past, reuniting with Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge could be a wise move for all parties involved.
Chelsea want to sign a new winger to boost Tuchel’s chances of steering the club to Premier League title glory.
And Dembele is one player on the German’s radar, with the France international’s contract at Barcelona recent expiring.
The Catalan giants remain hopeful the 2018 World Cup winner will end up staying at the Nou Camp, where he’s been ever since touching down from Borussia Dortmund back in the summer transfer window of 2017.
But, with Chelsea eyeing Dembele, it’s possible the winger will end up strutting his stuff at Stamford Bridge instead.
While the 25-year-old has struggled for consistency during his spell in La Liga, there’s no questioning how brilliant he can be on his day.
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And Joan Laporta, speaking earlier in the season, insisted the France international was ‘better’ than Mbappe.
“We have a very good relationship with Dembele and he wants to stay,” he said in January.
“We also want him because he is a great player. These are situations that need a negotiation with the representatives who want the best for the player.
“I am enthusiastic about Dembele – he is better than Mbappe.”
Barcelona are still pushing to keep Dembele, especially given how he improved following the appointment of Xavi in November.
But all signs are currently pointing to him leaving the Catalan giants behind, with Chelsea poised to swoop in.
Tuchel previously managed Dembele at Dortmund, helping the forward establish himself as one of the best young players on the planet during his spell at the Westfalenstadion.
The World Cup winner does, however, have a demand Chelsea will need to meet if they’re to snap him up.
Reports say Dembele has demanded to be a regular starter, having sometimes struggled to get into the Barcelona side.
Yet whether the Blues are able to satisfy his desire for more time on the pitch is something only time will tell.
Speaking recently, meanwhile, former Chelsea star Glen Johnson was asked about the possibility go Dembele moving to the capital.
And he said: “I believe it’s a no-brainer.
“You’ve got to do some clever business. You can’t just go out and spend top dollar for all the best players.
“If you can get players on the cheap or on a free then it makes absolute sense.
“You have to think, what would Dembele cost if he had four years left on his contract? So yes, I think if that sort of deal becomes available then you have to jump at it.”
Barcelona chief Mateu Alemany said last month that Dembele contract negotiations were, at the time, off the table.
“Dembele’s future will be known by him and his agents, I have my own personal opinion on this matter, but it is beside the point,” he stayed.
“There is no news about him, just like in the last six or seven months.
“There is no negotiation with Dembele’s representative at the moment.”
Dembele scored two goals for Barcelona last season but did register an impressive 13 assists in 21 La Liga games.
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