Chelsea bid for Belgian star could spark Fulham firesale
With the £30million transfer of Eden Hazard all but secured, Chelsea are now ready to turn their attention to another Belgian international, with a serious interest in Fulham’s Moussa Dembele.
The forward, often employed in a midfield role over the course of the past season, is rated at £10million, and fits the bill as the kind of player Roman Abramovich wants to bring to Chelsea.
His current manager Martin Jol is reluctant to lose him, but knows it would be difficult for the 24-year-old to resist the advances of the current Champions League champions.
This has been proved by Dembele’s reluctance to sign a new deal at Craven Cottage, and with only one year remaining on his contract, now could be the time for the Cottagers to cash in on one of their prize assets.
Manchester United have also displayed an interest in Dembele, though their priority signing would appear to be a more natural midfield playmaker, as opposed to a reverted striker in the mould of the Belgian.
He could however, prove the first in a string of high-profile names to exit the club this summer, and Fulham know they will be hard-pressed to find suitable replacements for their outgoing attackers at affordable prices.
American forward Clint Dempsey, who scored 23 goals in all competitions last season, is expected to join Arsenal, with a will to play Champions League football prevalent in the 29-year-old’s ambitions.
Dempsey too has just one year remaining on his current contract, and the Cottagers will likely accept bids to avoid losing the imposing USA international for nothing next summer.
Andy Johnson is another forward set to leave Craven Cottage meanwhile, after a refusal to sign a new Fulham deal has left a host of clubs clambering for his signature.
As opposed to taking up an offer elsewhere in England though, Johnson appears primed for a move to the United Arab Emirates, in which astronomical salaries are the norm, particularly for players with past Premier League experience.