Chelsea will not sign Ousmane Dembele and the Barcelona star will in fact not be going anywhere until the summer, according to reports.
The La Liga club had made it a priority to shift the 24-year-old off their wage bill. He entered the final year of his contract this season and uncertainty over his situation dragged on up until the middle of January.
Following seemingly endless discussions with Dembele’s agents, Barcelona stood firm. Indeed, they began the task of offloading him to another club before the transfer deadline.
Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all had initial links with making a move for the France international.
As deadline day approached, though, Paris Saint-Germain looked the firm favourites to sign him. Nevertheless, when that move failed to materialise, Chelsea emerged as serious transfer contenders.
Reports also claimed that Tottenham had interest in a late swoop for Dembele to round off their busy day.
According to French outlet RMC Sport, though, the player will now stay at Barcelona.
Barcelona wanted to finalise a deal for Dembele, but they have not been able to do so. As such, he will remain in the La Liga club’s ranks until the summer, when his contract expires.
In the meantime, he is free to arrange a pre-contract agreement with a club outside of Spain.
Chelsea showed late interest in Dembele amid Blues boss Thomas Tuchel’s relationship with the player.
The pair worked together at Borussia Dortmund before the player’s big-money move in the summer of 2017.
However, Dembele has largely struggled for form and minutes at Camp Nou due to persistent injury problems.
Dembele stirs up quiet Chelsea window
The interest in Dembele brought a late spark to Chelsea’s January transfer window.
The Blues have not made any marquee signings. In fact, left-back Kenedy – who has returned from a loan spell at Flamengo – has been their only arrival.
Instead, they have been focusing on outgoings.
Lewis Baker has sealed a permanent transfer to Stoke. Meanwhile, Armando Broja – who is currently on loan at Southampton – had links with a switch to West Ham.