Premier League • England

Boehly repeats Chelsea transfer tactic in attempt to gift Pochettino signing of Barcelona star he craves

Ansu Fati (FC Barcelona) and Ousmane Dembele (FC Barcelona) look during the La Liga Santander between FC Barcelona and Espanyol at RCDE Stadium on 14 May 2023

Chelsea might attempt to lure Ousmane Dembele away from Barcelona with a tempting contract offer, a report has claimed.

Dembele is now in the final year of his Barcelona contract, which contains a €50m (£43m) release clause. After he made 35 appearances and scored eight goals for them last season, his current club have been working to renew his deal and increase his exit clause.

However, they remain vulnerable to his potential departure – and, after links with other suitors like Bayern Munich, Chelsea could be one of the clubs attempting to take him away.

Now, Football Transfers has reiterated that Chelsea might target Dembele. The online outlet claims Mauricio Pochettino would gladly welcome the France international into the squad he is inheriting.

In order to persuade Dembele to leave Barcelona – where he is still settled – Chelsea would be willing to offer him a longer contract with better wages.

Since Todd Boehly became Chelsea’s new co-owner last year, it has become commonplace for the club to hand out lengthy deals to new signings. There has been some scrutiny about that approach, but it may be something they could utilise again for Dembele.

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Although there are several names on Pochettino’s shortlist, the Dembele deal is one he is keen to take a closer look at.

That said, Barcelona are still planning to have him in Xavi’s squad going forward and do not currently feel under pressure to sell him.

A deal may realistically be out of reach for Chelsea, but until Barcelona can secure Dembele to a new deal, there will be a glimmer of hope for Pochettino.

Chelsea aiming to address attacking woes

Chelsea’s attackers generally struggled for goals last season, which culminated with them finishing outside of the European qualification places.

They have already added Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig in an attempt to address those issues. There has also been some speculation about an ambitious raid for Neymar from PSG.

It remains a pressing issue for Chelsea to find a reliable target man at centre-forward. But they still seem to have a variety of wingers and other attacking profiles on their radar as well.

Dembele would be an interesting option to go for, since he is still only 26 years old. Injuries have sometimes overshadowed his Barcelona career, but he has still managed to score 40 goals from 185 appearances for the club.

Previously, he earmarked his potential during spells with Rennes and Borussia Dortmund. He was also part of the France squad that won the World Cup in 2018, along with Chelsea players of the time, Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante.

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s links with another French player have been called into question by a former star.