It has been reported that Ousmane Dembélé has been stalling on a new contract at Barcelona, with his entourage going through offers from other clubs in order to make the best possible decision. According to Catalunya Radio and Mundo Deportivo, while Barcelona’s intention is to keep hold of Dembélé past the summer, they’re willing to sell him if he doesn’t extend his contract — which is set to expire in 2022.
Dembélé is seemingly uninterested in signing a fresh deal with the La Liga side at the moment, after the way he was treated in the past by the club’s brass. However the French international will only make a final decision once the season ends.
Liverpool and especially Juventus are reportedly interested in the 23-year-old’s services, with Diario Sport reporting that the Old Lady have started talks with his representatives to sign him on a free transfer in 2022. Barcelona would likely want to prevent that from happening, and would be willing to offload him for €50-60m this summer.
Ike Ugbo has caught the eye of a number of European and domestic sides, with his brilliant performances throughout the course of the seasonat Cercle Brugge. As per the Daily Mail, The Athletic and several other sources, Watford are leading the race for the 22-year-old, with Chelsea asking for £5m in transfer fees. The recently promoted Championship side have reportedly held initial discussions with Chelsea regarding a deal, with more talks planned in the coming weeks.
An interesting hypothesis would be AS Monaco indirectly signing Ugbo since they own Cercle Brugge, and the latter have a £5m option to make the loan move permanent. But Ugbo is seemingly not keen on moving to either of the two clubs.
In the meantime Ugbo’s agent, Oliver Ward, has already confirmed the widespread interest in his client.
“CSKA is really showing interest in Ugbo, but that’s all there is to say at the moment. Ike has many different proposals.”
-Oliver Ward; source: RIA Novosti via All Nigeria Soccer
Chelsea are also reportedly looking to sign Jayden Wareham of Woking FC as per the Telegraph. The 17-year-old made his debut for the National League side last season, and has made 14 senior appearances this term.
A centre-forward by trade, Wareham has scored two goals thus far this year for Woking. He has also been trialling for Chelsea’s U18 team in recent weeks, scoring one goal and provided two assists in three games for the Blues.
Alongside Chelsea, the likes of Southampton, Leicester City and West Ham also have an interest in Wareham, whose contract expires this summer. Interest in the striker as well as other youngsters down the English pyramid have most likely come as a result of Brexit rules introduced in January which have made it harder to sign young players from abroad.
Woking manager, Alan Dowson, confirmed Wareham’s trial with Chelsea — although he claims he does not know much else.
“I’ve heard nothing as yet and nothing for the past 10 days.
“Jayden has been on a month’s trial and we knew he was training with Chelsea and he went there with our blessing. We knew the deal was getting done and I really hope the deal goes through.
“The honest truth is, I don’t know what’s happening. Nobody has rung me up and said anything. I’m just hearing rumours like everybody else. All I know is he’s done well there but at the moment he is still signed for us.”
-Alan Dowson; source: Surrey Live
Alongside Tammy Abraham, all signs point towards Olivier Giroud also departing the club at the end of the season. According to Goal, Chelsea are willing to offer a short-term extension to the World Cup winner. But with the centre-forward finding game time hard to come by these days, he’s reluctant to renew his contract, especially with the Blues only promising him a bit-part role.
Giroud has not yet decided where he wants to go to next if he leaves the Bridge, and is considering his options. The 34-year-old has plenty of interest from other clubs, and some of them have already started contacting his representatives.
Regardless of his next club and his playing time prospects, his status with the French national team is unlikely to change, with him being the starting CF ahead of the upcoming European Championship.