Premier League • England

Liverpool make contact with Barcelona forward and Chelsea target Ousmane Dembele amid attacking evolution

Ousmane Dembele taking a corner

Liverpool have supposedly made contact with the representatives of Ousmane Dembele and could explore an offer after the Champions League final.

Dembele is due to become a free agent at the end of the season, when his contract with Barcelona expires. The chance of him extending his stay there is not as impossible as it once seemed. However, it seems more likely he will end up elsewhere.

To date, he has been most closely linked with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain or Bayern Munich. But the latest contenders could be Liverpool.

According to Diario Sport, the Champions League finalists have initiated contact with the entourage of Dembele, a player they have long admired.

Aware that their attack is under evolution – Divock Origi is leaving, while Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are all entering the final year of their contracts – Liverpool have apparently added Dembele to their wishlist.

The chance to sign him as a free agent would be appealing. Therefore, Liverpool could step up their negotiations after their season concludes with the Champions League final on Saturday.

First their focus will be on the chance to claim more silverware by beating Real Madrid. Then, they can continue to plan for next season, which Dembele may be a part of.

He shares a former club with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, although their paths did not cross at Borussia Dortmund.

Yet with Klopp committing his future to Liverpool recently, they could finally work together in the Premier League.

Liverpool not ruling Ousmane Dembele out to replace Mo Salah

Liverpool not ruling Ousmane Dembele out to replace Mo Salah

Ousmane Dembele could hold the key to many major transfer this summer as Barcelona exit looms and Liverpool likely to move on Mo Salah if no new contract signed

For that to happen, though, they must fend off any competition from elsewhere. PSG’s interest was in doubt due to their change of sporting director, but Dembele’s friendship with Kylian Mbappe could keep them in the hunt.

Chelsea and current employers Barcelona could also be working towards offers, too. Hence, Dembele should have plenty to choose from in an important summer for his career.

Ousmane Dembele has some concerning statistics for Liverpool

While there is no doubting Dembele’s quality on his day, it is no given he would be as reliable as someone like Mane or Firmino.

He has a worrying injury record, having missed 18 games this season. During his whole Barcelona career, he has been unavailable for 102 matches. In contrast, he has played 150.

His record of 32 goals and 34 assists from those appearances isn’t bad. But in the 2021-22 season, he scored just once in La Liga.

Therefore, it would require some work from Klopp to turn him into an adequate replacement for one of Liverpool’s famous forwards.

But the German has improved many players in his time and could yet be the man to unlock the 2018 World Cup winner’s potential. Liverpool would have work to do to find out, though.

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