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Chelsea 'cool interest in Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele'

Chelsea 'cool interest in Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele'
© Reuters
Chelsea reportedly cool their interest in Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele, who is out of contract at the end of June.

Chelsea have reportedly cooled their interest in Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele.

The 25-year-old's future remains the subject of much speculation, with his current deal at Camp Nou due to expire at the end of the month.

Dembele recently hinted that he could remain with Barcelona, while the club's head coach Xavi has allegedly urged the hierarchy to make a final attempt to keep hold of him.

Chelsea, alongside Paris Saint-Germain, have been strongly linked with the France international over the last few weeks, with the player seemingly preparing to leave Camp Nou as a free agent.

However, according to Sport, while there is strong interest from Thomas Tuchel's side, the London giants have cooled their interest in the World Cup winner at this stage of proceedings.

Ousmane Dembele in action for Barcelona in February 2022© Reuters

The report claims that Chelsea have been 'surprised by the footballer's demands' considering his injury problems over the last few seasons.

Dembele, who is also believed to be looking for a substantial salary and large signing-on fee, allegedly informed the Blues during contract talks that he wants assurances over playing time at the club.

The former Rennes youngster is said to have told the Premier League club that he will only join them if he is considered a certain starter rather than a squad player.

PSG are also said to be keeping a close eye on developments, but it is understood that the French outfit have also been put off by the attacker's demands.

Earlier this month, Barcelona president Joan Laporta said that the club were still waiting for an answer from Dembele over a potential new deal at Camp Nou.

Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele pictured on January 22, 2022© Reuters

"Dembele has an offer to stay, but we have no news that he's accepted it. We haven't had a reply from him," Laporta told reporters when asked about the situation.

The Frenchman made 32 appearances for Barcelona during the 2021-22 campaign, scoring twice and providing 13 assists in all competitions, working his way back into the side in the second half of the season after being told that he had to leave the club in January.

"Ousmane Dembele's future remains open and we are not going to enter into endless speculation," Football Espana quoted the player's agent Moussa Dembele as saying in May.

"We are and have always been very respectful of all the clubs and we will continue in the same way as long as the process continues. When the time is right to make a decision, Ousmane will consider what is the best option for the future."

Dembele has scored 32 goals and registered 34 assists in 149 appearances for Barcelona since joining the Catalan giants from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017.

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