As new owner Todd Boehly sought to bolster then-manager Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea was at the centre of many trade sagas throughout the summer.
Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were finally signed by the Blues, which signals a fruitful summer for the team.
Ousmane Dembele was one name they did not get, though.
In January, it appeared as though the Frenchman might leave Barcelona, but he stayed and had a good season, which piqued Chelsea’s attention.
Tuchel and the winger had previously worked together at Borussia Dortmund, and the coach was said to be eager for a reunion. However, despite transfer rumours persisting throughout the summer, Dembele finally agreed to a new deal at the Nou Camp.
Over the summer, there were rumours that Dembele was close to joining Chelsea.
More Chelsea latest news: Report: Chelsea ready to hijack Arsenal’s move for £31m South American star
More chelsea latest news: (Image): Chelsea are the Premier League’s second most intense pressing team
More chelsea latest news: Fabrizio Romano: Two key players in doubt as Chelsea will focus on new midfielders in 2023
Although it was understandable to believe that his new two-year contract would put an end to any transfer rumours, this was not the case.
The contract the attacker signed has a release clause that becomes effective next summer, according to L’Equipe via Football365.
This implies that Barcelona would be unable to prevent the player from leaving next summer for as little as £43.7 million.
Chelsea eventually turned their attention to other forward targets like Sterling and Aubameyang, but they are unlikely to have completely ruled out making another offer for Dembele, particularly given his recent form.
In eight games throughout La Liga and the Champions League so far this season, the 25-year-old has two goals and four assists.
His outstanding start to the season continues from the previous one, when he recorded 11 assists in his final 14 league games after deciding to play the rest of the season in Catalunya.
The article further asserts that Barcelona would only get about half of any transfer price if a team agreed to sign Dembele, with the player and his agents keeping the remaining sum.
In either case, the Spanish team appears to be almost set to suffer a big loss on a player they acquired just five years ago for more than £110 million.
According to the source, the midfielder has drawn interest from both Manchester United and Liverpool recently.