Thomas Tuchel denies making contact with Ousmane Dembele during transfer window


Chelsea were heavily linked with a move for Ousmane Dembele in the January transfer window

Chelsea were heavily linked with a move for Ousmane Dembele in the January transfer window (Picture: Chelsea YouTube)

Thomas Tuchel has denied he made contact with Ousmane Dembele in a bid to convince the Barcelona winger to join Chelsea during the January transfer window.

The Catalan giants had ordered Dembele to find a new club last month after he turned down the offer of a new contract.

With just six months left on his current deal, Barcelona had sought to cash in while they still had a chance to, with reports in Spain claiming Chelsea made an eleventh hour bid to bring him to the Premier League.

Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga

Thomas Tuchel coached Ousmane Dembele during their time together at Borussia Dortmund.

Spanish newspaper ABC claimed a deal was ’99 per cent done’ while Barcelona president Joan Laporta also appeared to confirm a bid from an unnamed English side.

As it transpired, Dembele will remain with Barcelona until the end of the season before leaving on a free in the summer, but Tuchel played down the speculation that the France international was close to joining the Champions League holders earlier this week.

He 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.

Ousmane Dembele will see out the remainder of his Barcelona contract (Picture: Getty)

On a window which saw Chelsea fail to make a significant signing, Tuchel added: ‘I’m very satisfied because it was a calm window. To be calm is always the best thing. We were open for things.

Tuchel had been keen to add a new wing-back with Reece James still not fully recovered from a serious hamstring injury and Ben Chilwell out for the rest of the season following major knee surgery.

Chelsea were frustrated in their attempts to recall Emerson Palmieri from his loan spell at Lyon but Tuchel insists there was no need to make a signing for the sake of it.

He said: ‘We tried and had ideas. But in the end we stick to what we have and are happy. Reece will come back at some point, unfortunately not Ben Chilwell, but Reece will comeback and compete for a place in the squad.

‘Azpi at the moment is in fantastic form and a fantastic place. That is why it’s fine. We try to find solutions in our squad.’

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