According to a source, Chelsea’s discussions with the Barcelona winger whose contract with Ousmane Dembele has expired have increased in the past 24 hours.
As it stands, the 25-year-old appears set to leave Camp Nou when his contract expires at the end of June, with no contract extension agreement reached with the Catalan club yet.
The Xavi side is still interested in preserving DembeleHowever, ongoing financial difficulties limit their ability to compete with Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain in negotiations with Dembele and his representation.
Chelsea’s negotiations with Dembele have “kicked off”, according to talkSport, with Thomas Tuchel’s side now appearing in the driver’s seat for Dembele’s services ahead of the 2022-23 season.
If Chelsea do get the winger on a free transfer, it will be the club’s first signing under Todd Boehle, who has just taken over the club from Roman Abramovich.
Tuchel and Dembele are also reunited, having played together at Borussia Dortmund in 2016-2017, with Barcelona buying the French player for a deal that could increase to €147m (£135.5m).
Dembele scored 32 goals in 150 games for Barcelona in all competitions over his five injured years with the Catalan club.