Lyon chief releases Moussa Dembele statement amid Chelsea transfer interest

Moussa Dembele will not be joining Chelsea this month, according to Lyon’s president Jean-Michel Aulas.

The Blues have been heavily linked with a move for the Frenchman, with manager Frank Lampard publicly speaking about the need to replace the goals provided by Eden Hazard.

Hazard left Stamford Bridge in the summer to join Real Madrid and Chelsea’s transfer ban meant they were unable to strengthen.

However, that ban has now been lifted and the club have been linked with moves for a variety of wide players and strikers.

Up front, Tammy Abraham has enjoyed a goal-laden season and is currently the fourth-highest scorer in the Premier League.

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Despite his good form, no other player has scored more than five goals and Dembele had been viewed as the man to lift some of the burden.

A fee of over £40m had been mooted for the 23-year-old but Lyon’s current injury woes have made them extremely dependent on Dembele for goals and extremely reluctant to let him go.

Fellow attackers Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide have both been ruled out until the summer with cruciate ligament injuries.

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Lyon have already issued a hands-off statement but club president Aulas has now claimed Dembele “wants to stay to win something with Lyon.”

“We are not in a dramatic situation,” he told the club’s website. “It is difficult in terms of the content of our football but we are still in all the competitions.

“We are going to try to strengthen. Our first reaction is to look to the youngsters in the academy who are playing and showing more. The second is to sign players.

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