Man Utd dealt Dembele transfer blow as Chelsea have 'first refusal' on forward

Chelsea are reportedly leading the race to sign £60m-rated target Moussa Dembele with first refusal on the Lyon forward.

This will come as unwelcome news to Manchester United, who have also been linked with Dembele, but the Blues are understood to be first in line for the 23-year-old’s signature after trying to sign him in the January transfer window.

Lyon repelled Chelsea ’s approaches on that occasion but are prepared to sell the Frenchman this summer, according to the Daily Mail.

The report also states that it could take a bid of up to £60m to prise Dembele from Parc Olympique Lyonnais after the former Fulham and Celtic player has enjoyed another excellent campaign.

He has scored 22 goals and assisted seven times in 42 appearances this season, attracting interest from Chelsea boss Frank Lampard and his Manchester United counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Both managers are keen to recruit a forward to provide competition for current striking options and fill the role for years to come.

Tammy Abraham, 22, has shone at times for the Blues this campaign but has been inconsistent, while Olivier Giroud looks set to leave when his contract expires in June and Michy Batshuayi has scored only once in 16 league appearances this season.

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Meanwhile, United have been left light up top after Marcus Rashford sustained a serious back injury in January.

This prompted the loan signing of Odion Ighalo and it remains to be seen if the Nigerian will stay on at Old Trafford on a permanent deal or whether Solskjaer will opt to bring in a new face.

Boyhood Red Devils fan Ighalo has scored four goals and provided one assist in his eight appearances for United and the 30-year-old would be a more experienced option than Dembele, who made two Premier League appearances while at Fulham.


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