Chelsea and Manchester United are prepared to go head-to-head to secure the signing of Fulham frontman Moussa Dembele, according to the Daily Mail.
The Belgian ace is valued at £10m, and both clubs have registered their interest with Fulham, with a view to beginning talks over negotiating a fee. The attacking midfielder has been in great form for the Cottagers since joining from Dutch club AZ.
The 24-year-old only has a year left to run on his Fulham contract, and the west London club would prefer to receive a fee were he to leave, rather than risk him seeing him depart on a free transfer at the end of next season.
Chelsea are thought to view Dembele as the ideal long-term replacement for Frank Lampard. The Chelsea star turns 34 next season, and Roman Abramovich has begun building for the future already with the signings of Marko Marin and Eden Hazard.
And the Blues are understood to see Dembele as the ideal candidate to fill Lampard’s attacking midfield position once the Stamford Bridge star decides to hang up his boots. Regarding Chelsea’s interest, Dembele’s agent, Rodger Linse said: “It fits Moussa’s ambitions perfectly to become the replacement for someone like Frank Lampard one day, just as playing in the Champions League does as well.”
Fulham face a fight to keep hold of another of their stars as well. Clint Dempsey has revealed he wants to play Champions League football sooner rather than later, which could pave the way for a exit from Craven Cottage.