Chelsea very close in signing Badiashile from Monaco in £35m deal


Chelsea are in advanced talks to sign Monaco central defender Benoit Badiashile for a fee of around £35m. The 21-year-old has won two full caps for France. Former Tottenham head of recruitment Paul Mitchell is sporting director at Monaco, who are open to a sale. Head coach Philippe Clement has said of the prospect of losing the likes of Badiashile next month:

“As a coach, we’re always happy when the transfer window shuts. “We’ll see. It depends on the situations, if they’re interesting for the club or not. The most important thing for me is that the players have their minds here, and that’s the case.”

The 6ft 4in France international – a left-sided centre- back – has always wanted to play for a Premier League club contending for the Champions League, with West Ham and Sevilla reportedly having previously been interested. Graham Potter is seeking flexibility in his back line with Chelsea currently sweating over the fitness of Wesley Fofana after the defender suffered a setback in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford. Potter said prior to the fixture against Bournemouth:

“Wesley [Fofana] just had a little setback which can sometimes happen at the very last stage of the rehab. It will be a couple of weeks so he won’t be available for the game.”

Croatia’s 20-year-old World Cup star Josko Gvardiol has also attracted plenty of interest from Chelsea but The Sun claim his rising value and reputation has left the Blues considering more immediate options. Chelsea manager Graham Potter admits he was impressed with Hakim Ziyech’s performances at the World Cup for Morocco, confirms Reece James is fit but that N’golo Kante will not return until March. Analysis from Sky Sports’ Paul Gilmour:

“It’s no secret that Todd Boehly is targeting the best young players in world football as they embark on building a squad that can compete for many years. “It’s a policy that is consistent with giving Graham Potter a long-term contract and it’s an approach that will become normal practice at Stamford Bridge in the coming years.

“It’s already been evident with the pre-contract summer agreement for France international Christopher Nkunku but this January they are on the lookout for a midfielder and a striker.

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