Liverpool are reportedly ready to make a contract offer for Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele in January but face competition from Chelsea and Manchester City.
According to an exclusive report from TEAMtalk, Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele, who has entered the final year of his contract, has emerged as a transfer target for Liverpool. The Reds are now said to be plotting a contract offer for the Frenchman in January to lure him to Anfield at the end of the season, but face competition from Chelsea and Manchester City.
Dembele has been with Barcelona since the summer of 2017 when he was signed from Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Neymar. However, he has had a difficult time at Camp Nou due to injuries and fitness troubles. To date, the 24-year-old has played just 118 games in four years for the Catalans, while missing 96.
Dembele enjoyed his best season in terms of games played last time out, as he featured 44 times in the 2020/21 campaign. However, he picked up yet another injury during the summer at the UEFA Euro 2020 and has not played even once this season. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, there are serious question marks over the future of the Frenchman.
Manchester United had been credited with an interest in Dembele and now they have been joined by the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea for the signing of the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner.
Liverpool are in the market for a new forward as they look to freshen up their attacking options with both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane nearing their thirties. Furthermore, there is not enough quality depth in the forward line beyond the first-choice options and Diogo Jota, which makes adding another striker a sensible move for Jurgen Klopp & co.
To that end, Liverpool have identified Dembele as an option to bolster their attacking line and are now said to be readying a contract offer for the Frenchman as he becomes eligible to speak to foreign clubs from January over a free transfer at the end of the season. However, the Reds are likely to face competition from arch-rivals Chelsea and Manchester City, both of whom are in contact with the winger’s representatives.
Chelsea have plenty of options in their wide-attacking midfield slots but Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech have not been able to hit the heights expected of them. Timo Werner, too, has not been able to get going while Kai Havertz has also had an up-and-down time at Stamford Bridge so far.
Dembele, who played some of his best football under Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, could thus be an option for Chelsea. As for Manchester City, they too have no shortage of options in the wide areas as things stand. But Raheem Sterling has been linked with an exit after falling down the pecking order while Bernardo Silva’s future is also a doubt.
In fact, given Barcelona are keen on Sterling, Manchester City are said to have demanded Dembele as part of the deal for the Englishman. Furthermore, there is interest from both Juventus and Bayern Munich as well. So, while Liverpool are already working on a contract offer for the Frenchman, signing him will be difficult given the amount of interest.