Chelsea are said to be in ‘very advanced negotiations’ to sign Ousmane Dembele after the winger turned down Barcelona’s latest contract offer.
Dembele is set to become a free agent at the end of the month after rejecting Barcelona’s final contract offer and Chelsea have emerged as the frontrunners to secure his signing.
The 25-year-old’s exit will be a major blow to Barcelona with Dembele having impressed during the club’s improvement across the second half of the season, ending the season with a league-leading 13 assists for the Catalans despite starting just 15 games.
SPORT are reporting that Dembele has rejected Barcelona’s latest contract offer, and adds that Chelsea are in ‘very advanced negotiations’ to sign winger on a free transfer in a move that would reunite the winger with Thomas Tuchel.
The France international starred under the German’s guidance during a single season at Borussia Dortmund in 2016/17, in which he was named Bundesliga Rookie of the Season.
Speaking in January, Tuchel discussed Dembele and spoke on his desire to have worked alongside the Frenchman for a longer period.
“He is a very good player when he is in his top level,” he said. “I am very fortunate to have trained him in my time at Dortmund. It was only one year, it should have been longer.
“I needed to leave and he decided to leave.”
Dembele departed Dortmund to sign for Barcelona for an initial fee of €105m but has been plagued with injury problems for much of his time in Spain, making just 69 league starts across five seasons at the Camp Nou.