Barcelona make Ousmane Dembele transfer decision to put Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel on alert

Barcelona president Joan Laporta says that “a cycle is over and we are entering a renewal process”, with the club set to undergo a restructuring of the squad.

Up to 10 players will be made available for transfer, according to Sport, with rumoured Chelsea targets Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele among those the club would be willing to let leave this summer.

Dembele has been linked with a move to Chelsea for some time after seeing his early promise at Rennes and Borussia Dortmund halted slightly following a series of injuries after his big-money move to Barcelona back in 2017.

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The 24-year-old now has just one year remaining on his contract, and with Barcelona struggling to reduce their current debt, he could be one of the candidates to leave this summer.

The French star’s contract situation could mean that the Blues would be able to agree a better price for the attacker this year, with Dembele being available on a free transfer next summer.

And they would also have a strong bargaining position with the player himself, who recently stated that Thomas Tuchel has been his favourite manager to work with so far.

“Thomas Tuchel really convinced me, he is my favourite manager,” Dembele told beIN Sports.

“With Thomas Tuchel I played a bit more on the right side at the beginning of the season, and then I was moved more centrally, in the 10 position, sometimes even in the midfield three you see.

“And he told me to stay a bit more central, have an espresso as he used to say to me, the ball will come to you and then you will go.

“It would have been hard to leave Dortmund if Tuchel had stayed.”

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Dembele also stated that there have been no new talks on his contract following the arrival of Laporta back at Barcelona, but says that he is feeling good since his return from injury.

“I still have one year left on my contract,” he added. “There have been no talks with the new board yet, but I’m happy and feel good.

“I don’t know the new president, but he is very close to the players. We’ll see how it goes. I have been feeling good since I got back.”

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