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Chelsea on transfer alert as Dembele continues to stall Barcelona contract decision

11:21 BST 12/06/2022
Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona 2021-22
The France international forward continues to head towards free agency at Camp Nou, with his current contract set to expire this summer

Chelsea remain on high alert when it comes to a possible swoop for Ousmane Dembele, with Barcelona president Joan Laporta conceding that no progress has been made in contract talks with the French forward at Camp Nou.

If no fresh terms are agreed in Catalunya, then the World Cup winner will drop into the free agent pool this summer.

The Premier League heavyweights from Stamford Bridge are among those keeping a close eye on events at Barca, while the likes of Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be keen on Dembele, and a window of opportunity may soon swing open for a growing list of suitors.

Will Ousmane Dembele leave Barcelona as a free agent?

The 25-year-old, who was acquired by Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 with the money generated from a record-breaking sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, has so far resisted all efforts to get him tied down on an extended deal.

That remains the case at present, with Barca president Laporta saying when asked for an update on a long-running saga: "Dembele has a proposal for continuity, but we have no news, in principle, that he has accepted it.

"We have no response from him."

Are Barcelona any closer to getting Gavi to sign?

While considerable time and effort has been invested in trying to get Dembele to commit his future to Barca, the same is true of teenage sensation Gavi.

The 17-year-old La Masia academy graduate burst onto the senior stage in 2021-22, but he is still working on a youth deal that is due to expire in the summer of 2023.

Asked if any progress had been made in talks with a youngster that has seen a move to Liverpool speculated on, Laporta said: "We are optimistic because we want Gavi to continue at Barca. We are especially excited that he continues, he is from the academy.

"The player and his representative, whom we know well, also want to remain at Barca. We are very close to reaching an agreement."

Will Barcelona be signing Robert Lewandowski?

Away from contract talks, Barca are being linked with a number of players in the current transfer window.

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is considered to be a top target, but Laporta is reluctant to be drawn on links to the prolific Pole.

He said of speculation there: "We are not going to talk about him because it would be disrespectful to Bayern."

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