Report: Chelsea unlikely to sign 24-year-old 'phenomenon' on deadline day as they rule themselves out of bid
Chelsea have reportedly removed their name from the list of potential bidders for Ousmane Dembele.
According to the Daily Mail, the Blues are no longer interested in the Barcelona outcast, despite previous links suggesting otherwise.
Story of Dembele’s demise
Dembele could still depart on deadline day, but his destination probably won’t be Stamford Bridge.
Paris Saint-Germain are said to be circling his rather expensive signature and the Daily Mail claim personal terms have already been agreed.
They might be able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement this month to then acquire him in the summer when the 24-year-old’s deal with Barca expires.
The Spanish side’s loan move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may also be a deciding factor if Dembele decides to depart before the 11th hour.
It looked as if the Frenchman had turned a corner with his employers, following a meeting between his agents and Xavi.
Moussa Sissoko and Marco Lichsteiner apparently informed the manager about their client’s wishes to renew his contract and regain his place in the team.
Xavi hasn’t selected the forward since the Spanish Super Cup derby against Real Madrid 19 days ago.
He omitted the attacker entirely from the two subsequent matchday squads in response to the player’s unwillingness to extend his stay at the Camp Nou.
After conversing with Dembele’s representatives, things seemed to have been smoothed out.
This now doesn’t look the case, as Barca are still keen to offload their club-record signing.
Is Dembele still heading for the exit door?
They have already boosted their front line with the arrival of Ferran Torres from Manchester City.
If the La Liga outfit can also lure Aubameyang away from Arsenal, Dembele’s position in the squad will be seriously under threat.
He probably wouldn’t find much more joy in Chelsea’s camp, as they are almost too well covered up front.
It is a startling fall from grace for the man Lionel Messi labelled a ‘phenomenon’ only three years ago.
But often the mightiest plummet the hardest. Dembele needs to pick up the pieces of a shattered career and start again.