According to a source, Chelsea's discussions with Barcelona's out-of-contract winger Ousmane Dembele have increased in the last 24 hours.
As things stand, the 25-year-old appears ready to depart the Camp Nou when his contract expires at the end of June, with no agreement on a contract extension reached with the Catalan club thus far.
Xavi's side is still interested in keeping Dembele, but their continuous financial difficulties are limiting their ability to compete with Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain in negotiations with Dembele and his representation.
Chelsea's negotiations with Dembele have "taken off," according to talkSport, with Thomas Tuchel's side now appearing to be in the driver's seat to acquire Dembele's services ahead of the 2022-23 season.
If Chelsea were to acquire the winger on a free transfer, he would be the club's first signing under Todd Boehly, who just took over the club from Roman Abramovich.
Tuchel and Dembele would also be reunited, having played together at Borussia Dortmund in 2016-17, where Barcelona bought the Frenchman for a deal that may increase to €147 million (£135.5 million).
Dembele has scored 32 goals in 150 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions over his five injury-plagued years with the Catalan club.