Ousmane Dembele issued a timely transfer reminder to Chelsea on Sunday as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0.
football.london reported in January that the Blues were monitoring the France international’s situation at Barca, with less than six months remaining on his contract with the club.
Barcelona chief, Mateu Alemany, when speaking towards the end of the January transfer window, asked Dembele to leave the Catalan club as soon as possible after failing to agree a new deal.
He said: “The reality is that we began negotiations with his agents five months ago. During this time there has been continuous communication in which the club’s position has been to want him to continue.
“Different offers have been made to him, we worked really hard and put a lot of effort, we have done enough for the player to consider what he has to do with his future.
“We are 11 days away from the closing of the transfer window and we understand that… the player has decided not to continue and what we want is players committed to Barca. Both for his sake and for the club he has to leave as soon as possible.”
However, Dembele stayed put at Barcelona and will be playing his football there until the end of the season at least.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will push to try and sign the 24-year-old in the summer transfer window, but he is certainly an option for Thomas Tuchel, who worked with the talented, but rather injury prone, Frenchman during their days at Borussia Dortmund.
On Sunday, Barcelona cruised to a 4-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao – and Dembele starred in the victory after coming on in the second-half of the clash for Ferran Torres.
It took Dembele just seven minutes to get himself on the scoresheet at the Nou Camp, with the winger taking the ball onto his left foot and smashing one into the top corner with a fine finish.
Dembele then turned provider for the final goal of the game, with putting the ball on a plate for Memphis Depay, with a cross into the six-yard box.
It was a reminder, if needed, for Chelsea about the talents and ability of Dembele – and it came at a good time.
The Blues played out a frustrating 120 minutes of football with Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final, with the Reds eventually winning a dramatic penalty shootout (11-10).
The likes of Mason Mount, with two glorious opportunities, and Christian Pulisic were made to pay for their missed chances.
Plenty of Chelsea supporters on social media have called on Tuchel to be backed by the club’s board in the summer transfer window after seeing Sunday’s lack of end product at Wembley on a huge stage.