Chelsea have ramped up their interest in Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele and are set to make a move for the player in January. The Belgian has been an integral part of the Tottenham setup this season and the Blues have identified him as an option to add more power and verve to their midfield.
According to the Mirror, Jose Mourinho is willing to spend up to £20m ($30m) on the midfielder. The Portuguese manager wants to get Chelsea's season back on track, as they are currently 15th in the league and out of contention for the title. Dembele was on Mauricio Pochettino's list to be sold last summer and his long term future at the club remains uncertain. This may have led Chelsea to believe that they can get their man at the right price.
The two teams will meet on Sunday (29 November) at the White Hart Lane where Mourinho will have another chance to scout the player and confirm him as a potential recruit in the upcoming transfer window. Dembele has only 18 months left on his current contract with Spurs set to open talks over a new deal in the upcoming days.
However, Chelsea's interest may stall the deal, with the Blues capable of paying a higher premium for Dembele's services, who will turn 29 next year. The midfielder was illustrious in Tottenham's recent 1-1 draw with Arsenal and was also influential in their 4-1 thumping of West Ham at White Hart Lane. The player is likely to be used at centre-midfield against Chelsea, where Cesc Fabregas has failed to live up to expectations. The midfielder has made 10 appearances for Tottenham in the league so far, scoring two goals in the process.
Chelsea are also keeping a watch on John Stones, whom they chased last summer, only for Roberto Martinez to close the door on a possible move for the England international. Manchester United are believed to be in the mix, but interest from Barcelona and other top clubs in Europe will make it difficult for Chelsea to convince him and move to Stamford Bridge.