Chelsea’s surprise quick movements this past week have kicked off the summer transfer window rumor cycle extra early this season. Presumably, Hakim Ziyech won’t be the last bit of business Chelsea do this year either.
One of the areas of improvement the Blues are expected to target is at (backup-ish) striker, to provide proper competition to, rotation for, and perhaps even partnership in certain games with Tammy Abraham. And one of the more obvious names who will pop up repeatedly, just as he has done so several times in the past, is Olympique Lyonnais hitman Moussa Dembélé.
The young striker, who’s been linked with a return to West London ever since his breakout season for Fulham in 2015-16 as a 19-year-old, may have decided to stay with Lyon in January, but he’s not expected to make the same choice in the summer.
And if he wants to leave, Lyon are going to let him, just as their president, Jean-Michael Aulas explained not that long ago, and has done so again yesterday.
“We already have a certain number of offers for our players for summer. We sell the players who want to leave to where they want to go.”
-Jean-Michael Aulas; source: Evening Standard
Dembélé had been in a bit of a slump earlier this season, scoring just four times in three months, from October through the end of the calendar year, including zero goals in the Champions League. But since the start of January, he’s been a man on fire, notching a most impressive 9 goals — even if a decent portion of those 11 games were in various Cups rather than the league — including one against PSG last weekend.
The 23-year-old is on pace to better his numbers from last year (already on 19; got 20 all of last season), and if he keeps it up, he could even approach his career high of 32, which he set in his first season at Celtic.
And if he does keep that up, the Chelsea interest won’t be far behind — followed by plenty of others as well, including a certain Manchester United, who were linked in a £60m move recently.