MADRID: Barcelona is willing to offer Ousmane Dembele to Chelsea in their bid to sign Eden Hazard, according to reports in Spain.
Hazard has expressed his desire to leave Stamford Bridge this summer and has indicated that Real Madrid would be his preferred destination.
Earlier this week reports in France claimed that Hazard already has a verbal agreement in place with Madrid, who must now negotiate a fee with Chelsea.
Barcelona is also interested in signing the 27-year-old and reports have claimed that the Spanish champions have held talks with the player’s representatives. Chelsea is in a strong negotiating position for the time being as Hazard still has two years remaining on his contract.
But according to Spanish radio station Onda Cero, Barcelona are ready to test Chelsea’s resolve by offering Dembele in their deal to sign Hazard.
Barcelona signed Dembele from Borussia Dortmund last summer for an initial £96.8 million fee, which could potentially rise to £135.5m. But the 21-year-old endured a mixed first season at Camp Nou and has already been linked with a move away.
Dembele is currently on holiday after being part of the France squad which won the World Cup in Russia this summer. Hazard has indicated he wants to leave Chelsea this summer.
Chelsea, meanwhile, will attempt to prevent Hazard from leaving Stamford Bridge as they are also facing the prospect of seeing Thibaut Courtois join Real Madrid.
‘Clearly, the players you are referring to are very high-level players and I would like to keep them,’ Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said on Wednesday.
‘But a telephone call without looking them in the eye will not give me any certainty.
‘I would like to meet these players face to face and talk to them and understand what the best thing is for everyone to do.
‘Before that, I would also like a player to come on the pitch for four or five days with me to have a clear idea of what the plan is.’
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