Dembele to Chelsea speculation quashed as Lyon insist striker is not for sale

Lyon have moved to end speculation linking Moussa Dembele with a move to Chelsea by stating unequivocally that he will remain at the Ligue 1 club. 

Having been locked out of the summer transfer window due to a FIFA ban, the Blues have been forced to lean on young stars like Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi in the first half of the 2019-20 season. 

The kids have performed admirably for Frank Lampard in his debut term as Chelsea boss, steering the side to fourth place in the Premier League at the start of 2020, albeit some distance behind Leicester City, Manchester City and particularly runaway leaders Liverpool, who sit 19 points clear of the Londoners. 

Now, with their suspension rescinded, Chelsea are expected to be active this winter, with Dembele reportedly emerging as a top target. 

The 23-year-old striker has been in fine form for Lyon, scoring 10 Ligue 1 goals to date in an otherwise disappointing start to the season for the club. 

Dembele is seen as a strong option to bolster the Chelsea attack, but Lyon are adamant their star forward is not going anywhere. 

"L'Olympique Lyonnais are aware of certain reports in the media which suggest that Moussa Dembele could be of interest to other clubs during this transfer period," the club explained in a statement released on Thursday. 

"L'OL would like to reaffirm their wish, just as in the 2019 summer window, to keep Moussa Dembele. 

"The club has total confidence in Moussa and counts on him to form part of a competitive team for seasons to come." 

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A former member of the Paris Saint-Germain academy, Dembele got his break as a professional with Fulham after Chelsea's west London neighbours signed the youngster at the tender age of 16. 

After shining in the Championship, the forward then moved to Glasgow with Scottish giants Celtic, winning back-to-back titles at Parkhead before earning a move back to his native France with Lyon. 

Dembele has played 71 games for l'OL to date, scoring 30 goals.