Chelsea will turn their attention to Moussa Dembele in the summer transfer window after Liverpool have moved ahead in the pursuit of Timo Werner.
Chelsea are expected to focus on signing Moussa Dembele in the summer transfer window after Liverpool stepped up their interest in Timo Werner, according to reports. The Blues were monitoring Werner ahead of a potential approach at the end of the season but Liverpool are now said to be in the driving seat for the German international.
Chelsea are therefore switching their attention to Lyon forward Dembele as they look to strengthen their frontline, according to The Athletic.
The French striker is seen as an upgrade on both Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud, with one of the pair expected to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the current campaign.
And Dembele will provide competition for Chelsea’s top scorer Tammy Abraham, who notched 15 goals in all competitions this term before an ankle injury sidelined him in January.
The Athletic report that Dembele will not come cheap, with the 23-year-old under contract with Lyon until 2023.
However, they also say the prolific frontman – who has 22 goals in 42 appearances this season – would not automatically walk into Frank Lampard’s side ahead of Abraham.
This is in contrast to RB Leipzig frontman Werner, who is being targeted by a host of clubs around Europe including Liverpool and Manchester United.
The striker has 21 Bundesliga goals already this campaign and is believed to have a release clause in the region of £50million written into his contract.
While raising the funds for the 24-year-old should not be an issue for Chelsea, Liverpool are believed to be the star’s preferred destination.
However, one stumbling block preventing a move to Anfield could be that Werner is not guaranteed a starting berth over Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino.
European football expert Andy Brassell has suggested that this brings a move to Chelsea back into consideration.
“Of course he’s made such a push for Liverpool in the media opportunities he’s had over recent weeks, but I wonder if Chelsea could be in the mix as well,” he told talkSPORT.
“You could see him walking into that team a lot easier.
“The question is with Liverpool, especially with them going out the Champions League, it does tell you that success, however good, it is finite.
“And at some point Liverpool, however brilliant they are, they’re going to have to make changes to that team.
“You can’t leave a team and just say: ‘It’s perfect, we can’t improve it’. That’s now how football works.
“So the idea of Werner coming in to compete with those players and maybe even replacing one of them eventually is not completely off the table.”
Chelsea reportedly had a £34m bid for Dembele rejected in January, with Lyon also confident of keeping their star man in the summer.
The Ligue 1 club released a statement where they reiterated their stance, suggesting Chelsea would have to considerably up their offer in order to force through a move.
“Olympique Lyonnais has taken note of certain information relayed by the media suggesting that Moussa Dembele could interest other clubs during this transfer window,” the statement read.
“We would like to reaffirm its wish, as in the summer of 2019, to keep Moussa Dembele.
“The club has full confidence in Moussa and counts in particular on him to build a successful team for the seasons to come.”