Lyon have turned down an offer of €40m from Chelsea for striker Moussa Dembele.
The Frenchman hit 23 goals in 52 games for Les Gones last term, and has begun the 2019/20 campaign in similarly strong form, netting ten times across his 18 appearances in Ligue 1.
Manchester United are known admirers of Dembele, but Foot Mercato report that it is English rivals Chelsea who have made the first move for the 23-year-old.
Though Lyon would be making a sizeable profit on the man they bought for €22m in August 2018, injuries to forward pair Memphies Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide will make it difficult to prise him away from Groupama Stadium this month.
Nevertheless, it's claimed the Blues are set to return with an improved offer, and may look to include out-of-favour striker Olivier Giroud, which would certainly make the deal more intriguing from Lyon's perspective.
Dembele is allegedly open to the idea of joining Frank Lampard's side in January, aiding Chelsea's cause. Furthermore, Giroud would likely be pleased with a switch back to his native France, where he will no doubt receive more game time.
The veteran has featured in only seven matches for the Stamford Bridge outfit this campaign, scoring just once. With the European Championships coming up this summer, regular minutes will be a top priority for the target man.
Ultimately, this transfer will come down to whether Chelsea are willing to meet Lyon's valuation of Dembele. Given a transfer embargo meant the Blues were unable to sign any players over the off-season, they should be more than happy to pay slightly over the odds.
Another striker is essential for Lampard's recruits as they aim to secure their place in next season's Champions League, with Tammy Abraham now appearing tired, having led the frontline for much of the campaign. Chelsea couldn't bring anyone in to support the youngster, but they have now been freed up by the shortening of their embargo.
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Source : 90min