In what could be the final chapter of the Ousmane Dembele contract saga, the French forward could be on his way to Premier League giants Chelsea this summer.
Indeed, according to French outlet Le10 Sport (h/t SPORT), Dembele has decided to accept the contract proposal submitted by Chelsea and is all set to reunite with his former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge in the upcoming season.
Dembele’s five-year stint with Barça has been full of ups and downs. The 25-year-old arrived at Camp Nou as the man to replace Neymar, who had left for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222 million deal in 2017.
However, injuries, fitness problems and a perceived lack of discipline and professionalism have meant that the Frenchman has never been able to fulfil his potential at Camp Nou.
Having entered the final year of his contract with the club last summer, Dembele’s camp have been in negotiations over a new deal with Barça for a good part of the last ten months or so, without really showing an indication that they wished to accept the Catalans’ proposal.
Indeed, the 25-year-old’s entourage had rejected Barça’s offer towards the end of 2021, which prompted the club to try and offload him in January, only for the player to refuse to leave and stay put.
After a very brief exile, Dembele was brought back into the fold by manager Xavi Hernandez, who extracted the best out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner as the winger played a key role in Barcelona’s rise up the La Liga standings.
Dembele’s performances coupled with Xavi’s insistence on keeping him at the club coerced Barcelona to reopen negotiations with his camp over an extension in March. But, once again, despite multiple meetings being held, the two parties never really looked close to an agreement.
Now, it seems like Dembele has agreed terms with Chelsea and is all set to join the Blues in the summer. PSG had also shown an interest in the winger but decided to pull out of the pursuit after Luis Campos took over as director recently.
Dembele had previously excelled while playing under Tuchel at Dortmund and it might have played a part in his decision to choose Chelsea. The forward’s entourage have not replied to Barcelona’s final contract offer yet and will now move on as a free agent when his deal runs out on June 30.