Barcelona have confirmed Ousmane Dembele will be signing a new contract with them on Thursday, ending any hopes Chelsea had of reuniting him with Thomas Tuchel.
Dembele’s future has been one of the main topics in European football in recent weeks and months. The winger’s contract with Barcelona expired in June, six months after the club tried to sell him.
It was a complicated situation and other clubs were keeping an eye on developments. For example, there were rumours of interest from Chelsea. The Blues could have linked Dembele up with his former Borussia Dortmund head coach Tuchel again.
Despite that temptation, Chelsea have signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City instead. And now any prospect of them taking Dembele too has been ended by a Barcelona announcement.
The La Liga giants have confirmed they have reached an agreement with Dembele to renew his contract until 2024.
He will sign his contract in private at their training complex, the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on Thursday at 1:15pm CEST (12:15pm UK time). Then, half an hour later, there will be a public appearance at the Tito Vilanova pitch.
With his future about to be officially resolved, Dembele will soon add to his 150 appearances for Barcelona. From them, he has provided 32 goals and 34 assists.
Injuries have hampered him at times over the past five years. However, he was back towards his best last season, topping the La Liga assists chart.
New chapter of Barcelona journey for Ousmane Dembele
A World Cup winner with France in 2018, the former Rennes forward will now hope to add to his medal collection, which already consists of two La Liga titles, two Copas Del Rey and one Supercopa De Espana from his time at Barcelona.
Although Tuchel previously got a tune out of him in Dortmund – where they won the German Cup together – it will be Xavi who continues to coach Dembele in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons.
Raheem Sterling over Ousmane Dembele for Chelsea
Chelsea believe that Raheem Sterling is the better option compared to Ousmane Dembele due to poor injury record
The Frenchman should form part of an exciting attack at Camp Nou. Xavi is also welcoming Raphinha to his ranks and is hoping to add Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.
The likes of Ansu Fati, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran Torres will also be competing for a place in attack. Others, though, such as Memphis Depay, may have to move on as a result of Raphinha’s arrival and Dembele’s renewal.
It remains to be seen whether Dembele may be affected by registration issues that have almost thwarted other Barcelona deals before. It seems, though, that with an agreement in place, they will be able to enjoy his services again for another two seasons.