Chelsea ‘pressed the most’ for the deadline day signing of Ousmane Dembele but Tottenham ‘were in talks’, according to reports.
News of Dembele potentially heading to the Premier League towards the end of the January transfer window was very out of the blue. He has been a nightmare for Barcelona in recents months after refusing to lower his wages.
And the Frenchman’s injury record is horrendous. Nevertheless, Thomas Tuchel was said to be keen on a reunion with his former Borussia Dortmund forward.
Two Spanish outlets have now covered the extent of the chase which saw Spurs become a late hijacker of the deal.
It was never going to materialise as the 24-year-old intended to ride out the final six months on his contract at the Camp Nou.
However, another report by Sport insists there were talks with Tottenham to try and make it happen. They wanted him on loan for the rest of the season.
So it seems they are unlikely to return in the summer. Chelsea, meanwhile, could try again in the next window.
They are able to do so right now, in fact. Dembele can sign a pre-contract agreement with teams outside of Spain.
Tuchel was coy on the transfer link when questioned in his FA Cup pre-match press conference.
Of their January business, he said: “I am satisfied because it was a calm window and to be calm was the best thing.
“We were open for things. I did not have contact with Ousmane. There was no contact in winter between us.”
Tuchel could miss Chelsea trip
Meanwhile, Tuchel faces an anxious wait to see if he can fly out to join Chelsea’s Club World Cup campaign after testing positive for Covid-19.
The German was forced to miss the Blues’ FA Cup fourth-round clash with Plymouth. First-team coaches Arno Michels and Zsolt Low took charge.
Chelsea are due to fly out to Abu Dhabi on Saturday night, following the cup tie with Argyle.
Tuchel will not be on that flight, but still hopes to link up with the Blues in due course. Chelsea’s Club World Cup semi-final will be held in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.