Premier League • England

Trio could be sacrificed, as Chelsea keep in contact with high-profile free target to spice up attack

Oscar Mingueza and Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele is likely to choose between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain when it comes to his next club, according to a report.

Dembele is in the final few months of his contract with Barcelona. The La Liga outfit tried to sell him in January after realising he would not renew on their terms. Tensions grew between player and club, but he is continuing to represent them until the end of the season.

After that, his signature will be up for grabs. Chelsea have regularly been mentioned as potential takers. Their interest stems from the fact that Dembele played under their coach Thomas Tuchel when they were both at Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea considered a deal in January, but are now having to wait until Dembele becomes a free agent. According to 90min, they have maintained contact with his representatives.

The same goes for Paris Saint-Germain, who could take him back to the north of his native France. The report claims the level of their wage offer would be similar to Chelsea’s.

Therefore, Dembele must decide between the two. He will take plenty of factors into consideration after his five years with Barcelona did not live up to what was expected.

Chelsea are willing to offer him a new opportunity, which would be his first experience of the Premier League. Turning 25 in May, there is still time for the 2018 World Cup winner to make a successful career for himself.

Tuchel is well aware of that, which means Chelsea are in the joint-lead – along with PSG – for Dembele’s services.

Dembele to help Chelsea evolve

Ousmane Dembele during a Barcelona match

In fact, the report claims Chelsea could invite offers for existing attackers Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic to evolve their frontline. Adding Dembele would help the process.

But he is taking his time before making a commitment over his future. Some of his Barcelona teammates have not given up hope that he could yet stay at Camp Nou, either. To do so, though, he would have to significantly drop his salary.

That appears unlikely, meaning it should be a two-horse race between Chelsea and PSG to take him for the upcoming seasons.

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Chelsea to axe another attacker

One striker not named in 90min‘s report, but whose future is in question, is Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has struggled to recapture the form that prompted Chelsea to fork out a club-record £97.5m in the summer. The ex-Inter striker has shown glimpses of his punishing best. But recent displays have been wholly disappointing.

Chelsea already in talks with Ousmane Dembele over summer signing

Chelsea already in talks with Ousmane Dembele over summer signing

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea are already talking to soon to be free agent Ousmane Dembele as winger will leave Barcelona

Indeed, he notched just seven touches in the 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday. That remarkable statistic prompted speculation Lukaku simply isn’t the right fit for Tuchel’s system.

That was followed up by a benching for the Champions League Round of 16 victory over Lille on Tuesday night. The more mobile and silkier Kai Havertz was chosen to lead the line, and got on the scoresheet as Chelsea secured a commanding two-goal lead at half-time in the tie.

And speaking to CBS Sports, Jamie Carragher has explained why Chelsea could swing the axe on their new centre-forward after just one season.

The pundit claimed “alarm bells” should be ringing for Lukaku if he’s overlooked against Liverpool at Wembley for the Carabao Cup final. Furthermore, Carragher stated given Lukaku’s price tag and influence, being relegated to a squad role is simply not viable.

Carragher said: “I think the big thing at the weekend, we are talking about the cup final now. We don’t know, yet to see what the team is.

“But I think not playing in a Champions League knockout game, then not playing in a cup final. I mean alarm bells will be going if I was Lukaku.

“He’s not the type of player you can have on the bench, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe he will be on the bench long-term.

“We are seeing that with Timo Werner right now. But Lukaku is a bigger name. Bigger presence and he is a better player than someone like Werner.

“If they go with Havertz and almost like a different system, like a false nine, then I don’t think we will see Lukaku at the club next season.”

READ MOREChelsea ace has ‘almost both feet’ in next club after report clarifies contract wrinkle