Barcelona star given 48-hour ultimatum as Chelsea prepare to pounce on cut-price deal

Chelsea target Ousmane Dembele’s future will be made clearer after Barcelona gave the forward a 48-hour ultimatum to respond to a contract offer.

Ousmane Dembele’s future at Barcelona will be decided in the next 48-hours after club officials gave the forward an ultimatum to respond to a contract offer or leave, according to reports in Spain.

Dembele, who is one of Chelsea’s main targets, has been haggling with Barcelona over a more lucrative contract as the Frenchman’s stay at Camp Nou expires this summer.

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The 24-year-old is asking for as much as €43 million (£36 million) per year, according to Sky Sports Germany - terms that the club are financially unable to match.

Barcelona are currently trying to dig themselves out of over €1 billion of debt, with the Spanish giants having to lower Samuel Umtiti’s wages in order to register new signing Ferran Torres.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Dembele is still yet to respond to the current contractual offer which has frustrated the club’s higher-ups.

Leading to a 48-hour ultimatum issued to the forward, who must respond to these terms within that time frame.

No response will reportedly mean a refusal to extend his stay at the club which will see Dembele made available on the market, with Chelsea monitoring proceedings closely.

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are also said to be interested in acquiring Dembele’s services.

Dembele has had a stop-start career at Barcelona due to several injury problems, the worst being a hamstring issue in February 2020 that sidelined the 24-year-old for 191 days.

Nevertheless, the Frenchman has still managed to bag 26-goals since he joined the club from Borussia Dortmund in a £135.5 million deal in 2017.

Dembele will be available at a cut-price during the ongoing January transfer window as reports suggest as little as £20 million could be enough to tempt him to Stamford Bridge.

Failing that, the Frenchman will be made available on a free transfer on July 1.

Chelsea are more than financially capable to sanction the 24-year-old’s £700,000 per week demands, but whether they need to is another question.

Thomas Tuchel’s Blues are in need of more pace and creativity in the side, someone to provide quality service for the struggling Timo Werner and wantaway Romelu Lukaku.

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