Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele has decided to take a significant pay cut to stay at the club, despite some interest from Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.
The interest from Chelsea was not that strong, with Tuchel the main figure keen to snap up the France international, though Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling had always been the priority.
This is according to Fabrizio Romano in his latest column for CaughtOffside via Substack, with the reporter explaining that the strongest interest came from Paris Saint-Germain.
In the end, however, Dembele was keen to stay at Barca, while manager Xavi was also desperate to tie the former Borussia Dortmund man down to a new deal.
It now looks like this is close to completion, with the 25-year-old prepared to take a pay cut of 40%.
“Ousmane Dembele is ready to accept a new contract from Barcelona, even though he will reduce his salary by around 40%,” Romano writes.
“There was interest above all from Paris Saint-Germain with Leonardo as director, but no longer with Luis Campos. Meanwhile, some of the other speculation was slightly overblown – Chelsea and Bayern Munich have never made official offers, it was just Thomas Tuchel who rates Dembele highly, having worked with him at Borussia Dortmund. Raheem Sterling has long been their priority, however.”
Sterling a better choice for Chelsea than Dembele transfer
Dembele has shown plenty of talent when he’s fully fit and on form, but Chelsea were probably right to go for Sterling instead.
Unlike Dembele, the England international is proven in the Premier League, and has been remarkably consistent throughout his career for club and country.
It would have been intriguing to see if Tuchel could revive Dembele’s career, but it would have been a gamble, even on a free transfer.
Still, Chelsea could do with looking at alternatives in attack due to the struggles of players like Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, and Christian Pulisic.