Report: Chelsea lead free transfer race for 13-assist winger
Chelsea are in the pole position to sign soon-to-be free agent Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele as Thomas Tuchel eyes a reunion, according to talkSPORT.
Dembele, who was close to leaving Barcelona in January as the club tried to reduce their wage bills, proved to be crucial in the club’s securing a Champions League spot.
Xavi Hernandez relied on him a lot in the second half of the season, and the winger finished the season with one goal and 13 assists from just 15 starts in La Liga.
Unsurprisingly, Mundo Deportivo claimed that Barcelona are offering Dembele a new deal, but with the player already entering the final month of his contract, he can consider other options on a free transfer as well.
Back in January, Chelsea were reportedly among the clubs that were offered the opportunity to sign the France international.
Dembele previously worked with Chelsea boss Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund and arguably had his best season under the German.
TalkSPORT’s Alex Crook claims that the Blues are back in the race for the 25-year-old.
“This one has really taken off overnight,” he told talkSPORT.
“Chelsea look like they are favourites to sign Ousmane Dembele on a free transfer.
“He’s been letting his contract run down at Barcelona, and he would be the first signing of the Todd Boehly era.”
How Dembele would fit in at Tuchel’s Chelsea
Statistically, Dembele is clearly ahead of any Chelsea attacking options except for Mason Mount in terms of goal contributions.
Similar to Hakim Ziyech, however, he seems to thrive in a right winger role in a 4-3-3 formation which obviously does not exist in Tuchel’s 3-4-3.
Although, unlike Ziyech, Dembele is comfortable with both feet and arguably faster and better at dribbling than the Morocco international.
Mount, who usually starts on the right-sided inside forward under Tuchel, is clearly versatile enough to play on the left or more centrally if Dembele was to join Chelsea.