Chelsea and Man Utd have been handed a major boost in their quest to prize France forward Moussa Dembele away from Lyon after the French club’s president dropped a huge hint that could pave the way for his exit.
The 23-year-old has become one of Europe’s hottest properties over the last 18 months due to his sublime performances for Lyon.
Dembele notched 20 goals across all competitions in his maiden season in his homeland last season, and looks set to far surpass that in the current campaign after already plundering 19 goals from just 35 appearances.
Premier League duo Chelsea and Man Utd have long been noted as keen admirers of the Frenchman, with his age and previous experience at playing in England with Fulham seemingly making him a perfect fit for either side.
A winter window move for the star forward was suggested, but Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was adamant that the player would not be allowed to leave mid-season.
“We want Moussa Dembele and Lucas Tousart [linked with Hertha Berlin] to stay.”
Dembele did indeed remain with the club, but the latest report from British newspaper the Daily Express reveals that the player’s reluctance to cause disruption regarding a potential move has increased the chances of a sale being sanctioned in the summer.
The article adds: ‘[Dembele’s] patience appears to have paid off, with the French side now resigned to selling their star striker in the summer.’
Lyon president Aulas is reported as saying that he will not stand in the way of play ers who wish to leave the club.
“We already have a certain number of offers for our players for summer,” said Aulas.
“We sell the players who want to leave to where they want to go.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea have reportedly reached an exciting €45m agreement to sign a deadly Dutch league assist king.
The Blues were unable to sign anyone last summer due to their transfer ban, with that situation not being rectified in January despite the club being freed to conduct business by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was keen on signing a new striker to support Tammy Abraham – or another attacker at the least – with Olivier Giroud’s future in the balance.
No new deals were completed but according to De Telegraaf, Chelsea have acted quickly ahead of the summer and are close to securing their first end-of-season arrival in the form of a €45m deal for Ziyech.