Chelsea plotting sensational free transfer for Barcelona star amid Liverpool interest

Talks around a new contract at Barcelona have stalled, and now Ousmane Dembele could be available on a free transfer as Chelsea and Liverpool circle the 24-year-old.

Chelsea are pushing to sign Liverpool target and Barcelona frontman Ousmane Dembele on a free transfer, according to reports.

The 24-year-old is in the final six months of his contract at Camp Nou which is leading to speculation regarding a potential exit, with a move to Chelsea reportedly on the cards - Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are said to also be admirers of the winger.

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Barcelona manager Xavi has continuously attempted to quash any talk of the Frenchman leaving the Spanish giants, reassuring fans that a new deal is in the works.

“I feel positive with him again, Ousmane says that he wants to continue and he is happy here,” the manager told journalists.

“It is only a matter of agreeing with his representatives, he knows about the importance he will have if he stays [with us].”

However, talks have reportedly stalled as club officials see Dembele’s wage demands as a major stumbling block.

Sky Sports Germany reported that the Frenchman is asking for as much as €43 million (£36m) per year to renew his terms at the club - which means an astronomical £700,000 a week.

Given the current financial situation at Barcelona, this deal is incredibly unlikely to be sanctioned as the club try to dig themselves out of over €1bn of debt.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel looks on during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Chelsea are reportedly ‘more than ready’ to jump at the opportunity to sign the ex-Borussia Dortmund star, according to French outlet L’Equipe.

If terms can not be agreed upon, Dembele would be able to join up with Thomas Tuchel’s Blues when his contract at Barcelona expires on July 1.

Chelsea are more than financially capable to sanction Dembele’s move to Stamford Bridge, but whether they want to is another matter as the 24-year-old has had an injury ridden spell in Spain.

Since joining Barcelona in a seismic £135.5 million switch from Dortmund in 2017, the frontman has missed nearly two years through injury - the most regular being a hamstring injury, which in February 2020 saw the Frenchman sidelined for 191 days.

But on his day, Dembele is a fast and tricky winger that would definitely add another dimension to Chelsea’s attacking line-up - the forward has scored 26 goals in an incredibly stop-start career with Barcelona.