According to The Athletic’s Simon Johnson, one of Chelsea’s priorities in the summer transfer window (whenever that may actually occur) will be to bolster our options at center forward, letting at least one of Michy Batshuayi or Olivier Giroud go, and replacing him with a new signing to help challenge and push Tammy Abraham (who will also get a new contract in addition to new competition).
The dream candidate for said new signing might be someone like Timo Werner, but a lot more realistic target may be someone like Moussa Dembélé instead. Werner’s rated as “unlikely” by Johnson following the public courtship going on between the RB Leipzig man and Liverpool. Chelsea have seen that as well, and are apparently back to focusing on Dembélé instead.
The Blues have been interested in Dembélé for some time now, and have been repeatedly linked since his breakout season at Fulham as a 19-year-old in 2016. After a stint at Celtic, Dembélé’s been playing back in his home country with Lyon, scoring 42 goals in 88 games in all competitions.
But while Dembélé’s exit was explicitly blocked in January, Lyon have already changed their stance, with president Jean-Michel Aulas declaring that the club would allow Dembélé to leave next time, if he wants to. Surely, the possibility of playing for Chelsea would appeal to Dembélé.
The bad news is that Chelsea would undoubtedly be required to pay a lot of money for the 23-year-old, with some rumors going as high as £60m, even. More reasonable fees around £40m have been rumored before, though that still seems a bit much for someone who wouldn’t be a guaranteed starter. That said, despite the recent resurrection of Olivier Giroud, we’ve seen all season the importance of the position and the need to have a proper backup to Tammy Abraham. A signing such as Dembélé might cost a lot, but it just might be a risk worth taking.