Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has escalated rumors of a move to Chelsea by calling Thomas Tuchel his ‘favorite coach’.
The Frenchman worked with Tuchel during his season at Borussia Dortmund in 2016/17.
They finished third in the Bundesliga and won the German Cup, beating Eintracht Frankfurt in the final.
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Dembele went on to secure a significant money transfer to Barcelona in August 2017, while Tuchel became coach of Paris Saint-Germain the following year.
Their careers have differed considerably since then. Dembele suffered injuries at Camp Nou, limiting him to just nine appearances in all competitions last season.
Although he’s been more successful this quarter, he still hasn’t backed his massive £ 120million transfer fee with Barca.
In contrast, Tuchel won the domestic treble with PSG last season before being sacked due to mounting tensions with the club’s hierarchy.
He took over at Chelsea in January and is set to take them to the Champions League final.
Speaking about his future for beIN Sports (via Express), Dembele said: “I’m happy at Barcelona, we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Asked about his relationship with Tuchel, the 23-year-old continued: “Tuchel really convinced me, he’s my favorite manager.
“With Tuchel, I played a little more on the right side at the start of the season, then I was moved more to the center, in 10th position, sometimes even in midfield three, you see.
“And he told me to stay a little more central, to have an espresso as he told me, the ball will come to you and then you will go.”
Dembele’s unfortunate situation at Barca has led to rumors of a move to the Premier League. He has been linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool.
The Blues spent a lot of time last summer, with Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell.
But they could still improve their team in the months to come. Tuchel seeks to appropriate the team.
Dembele is one of the top names on their transfer list, alongside Romelu Lukaku of Inter Milan.