Chelsea ‘closing in’ on deal to make Dembele first signing of Boehly era
Chelsea are closing in on a deal for Barcelona contract rebel Ousmane Dembele, according to a new report.
The Blues are finally able to start planning for next season after Todd Boehly's £4.25billion takeover was officially rubber-stamped earlier this week. Chelsea had been unable to chase new signings or even negotiate new deals with existing players ever since the club's former owner, Roman Abramovich, was slapped with sanctions by the UK government back in March.
But the Blues are finally back in business now that Boehly has taken over from the Russian supremo – and Thomas Tuchel has wasted no time in lining up his first summer deal.
According to a new report from talkSPORT, Chelsea are the favourites to snare Dembele when his contract at the Nou Camp officially expires at the end of this month. The ex-Borussia Dortmund star – who worked with Tuchel in Germany before his mega-bucks move to Barca – is available for nothing this summer after running down his deal with the Spanish giants.
The 25-year-old has been plagued by injuries during his stint in Spain, but he still managed to bag 15 goal involvements in just 21 appearances last term.
Barcelona have made numerous attempts to keep the winger, who cost them an eye-watering £135.5m back in the summer of 2017. But Dembele now seems destined to move on, with Chelsea in pole position to land the sought-after speedster.
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The Blues are in the market to bolster Tuchel's squad after a disappointing second half to the season. Chelsea were right up the top of the Premier League alongside Liverpool and Manchester City after a stunning start to the campaign but soon faded away.
As well as pursuing a deal for Dembele, the Blues will have to try and rebuild their defence after Antonio Rudiger's move to Real Madrid was officially confirmed earlier this week.
The German defender had evolved into a key player for the former European champions under Tuchel, but Rudiger was unable to come to terms on a new deal with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy and will now ply his trade at the Bernabeu next season. Andreas Christensen is also expected to quit the Londoners when his deal is up at the end of the month.
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