Chelsea are frontrunner in signing Monaco defender


Chelsea and Monaco are still in talks on a £35 million transfer for defender Benoit Badiashile.

The combative left-sided center back, who is 21 years old, can easily slot into a three- or four-man defense and provide manager Graham Potter with the versatility he needs for tactical changes.

Newcastle United made an offer for Badiashile earlier this year, but when negotiations got underway, the player was hurt, and Eddie Howe’s team went on to other targets before going back to signing Sven Botman.

The 6’4″ France international has always desired to play for a Premier League team that is challenging for the Champions League, but West Ham and Sevilla have also expressed interest.

Josko Gvardiol of Red Bull Leipzig is still a target for Chelsea, but the club’s refusal to sell has prompted Chelsea to make an immediate move for Badiashile. Last summer, Chelsea had a bid for the Croatian rejected.

While Monaco, whose sports director is former Tottenham head of recruitment Paul Mitchell, is open to the sale, they are desperate to lower the average age of their team to under 25.

When asked about the interest in his players, Monaco coach Philippe Clement replied, “As a coach, we’re always delighted when the transfer window closed. We shall see. Whether or not a situation is interesting to the club depends on the circumstances. The fact that the players are present and aware is what matters the most to me.

As Jorginho’s contract negotiations drag on, Newcastle has made him their top priority for the January transfer window.

The 31-year-old international from Italy will become a free agent in the summer when his contract expires.

Additionally, Youri Tielemans of Leicester City and Kephren Thuram, a 21-year-old midfielder for Nice and the brother of France and Borussia Monchengladbach star Marcus, have been explored by Newcastle.

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