Lyon forward Moussa Dembélé has accepted he won't be able to force through a January transfer to Chelsea, with the French club unwilling to sell him midway through the season.
The Blues had reportedly been keen on bringing in the 23-year-old this month. However, they have already seen a €40m bid turned down by Les Gones, who have since released a statement confirming their desire to keep him at Groupama Stadium.
Lyon plan to build their team around Dembele over the coming seasons, while they are reliant on him for the rest of the current campaign following serious injuries to fellow forwards Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide.
According to the Telegraph, the Frenchman has now come to terms with the fact he won't be returning to English football anytime soon, with Les Gones chairman Jean-Michel Aulas determined to retain his services for the remainder of the year.
Neither Depay nor Reine-Adelaide are likely to feature again this season, the pair both suffering anterior cruciate ligament ruptures.
After having their first bid turned down by the Ligue 1 side, Chelsea were tipped to offer Olivier Giroud as part of a player-plus-cash deal, but the chances of that happening now seem remote.
That's despite Dembélé's desire to move back to England, with the frontman spending four years at Craven Cottage after emerging from Fulham's academy setup.
He hit 17 goals in 47 appearances during his final year in west London, before joining Celtic, for whom he scored 51 times over the course of three campaigns.
Dembele is halfway towards equalling his tally of 20 goals from 2018/19, his debut season at Lyon. His importance to Rudi Garcia's side has only grown in the absence of Depay and Reine-Adelaide, demonstrating why the club are so desperate to keep hold of him.
You can effectively rule out a move to Chelsea in January, but it would hardly be a surprise to see the Blues get their man once the summer transfer window opens.
By then, Lyon will have more time to find a replacement, making negotiations far less awkward. If Frank Lampard hasn't already splurged on a new striker, there's every chance he'd return for Dembélé.
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Source : 90min