Chelsea FC boss Thomas Tuchel replies to question about Ousmane Dembele

Thomas Tuchel denies that Chelsea FC were in contact with Ousmane Dembele about a January transfer from FC Barcelona

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Chelsea TV / Screengrab)

Thomas Tuchel has denied that Chelsea FC made contact with Ousmane Dembele about signing the FC Barcelona forward in the January transfer window.

The 24-year-old attacker was linked with a transfer away from the Spanish club in the winter window as the clock ticks down on his contract with the La Liga giants.

Dembele was touted as a possible target for Chelsea FC last month as the Blues considered bolstering their options in attack ahead of the second part of the season.

Sky Sports reported that Chelsea FC made an “enquiry” about signing the France international on deadline day, following reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain but a move failed to materialise in the end and Dembele will now stay at Barca until the end of the campaign.

Dembele now looks set to leave FC Barcelona on a free transfer at the end of the season, when his contract with the Spanish side expires.

Blues boss Tuchel was asked directly about the reports linking Chelsea FC with Dembele, but the German head coach has denied that he was in contact with the French forward.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Tuchel said: “I did not have contact with Ousmane to answer your question very directly. There was no contact in winter. There was no contact between us.”

Chelsea FC brought in youngsters Dylan Williams and Mason Burstow during the January transfer window but failed to add any big-name players to their squad.

However, Tuchel insisted that he was satisfied with how the window unfolded despite the lack of activity from the Blues.

“I’m very satisfied because it was a calm window,” he continued. “To be calm is always the best thing.

“We were open for things. We tried and had ideas. But in the end we stick to what we have and are happy.”

Reece James sat out Chelsea FC’s FA Cup clash with Plymouth on Saturday following his recovery from a hamstring problem – but Tuchel is hoping to have the full-back back available for selection shortly.

“He needs some time in team training to get the rhythm and confidence back,” said Tuchel of James.

“I’ve been a manager for too long to have a feeling for injuries and not to get over-excited by pure dates that are maybe out there. I know we can have setbacks and it can take long sometimes. The injury was a big one and I felt that straightaway so from there you know we need to be patient.

“Reece also caught the flu and this was a setback in the last week so he had lost days in the process of coming back with the team. We want him back on the pitch tomorrow but we are patient. I know everyone is working hard, Reece is working hard, and he’s in the best hands.”

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