Chelsea have reportedly made Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile their top defensive target in the January transfer window.
They have been strongly linked with RB Leipzig and Croatia standout Josko Gvardiol, but Fabrizio Romano believes Chelsea will have to break the record for the most expensive transfer fee paid for a defender to get a deal done.
Instead, the Stamford Bridge club are said to have pivoted to 21-year-old Monaco powerhouse Badiashile, who stands at six-foot-four and has racked up 106 club appearances since debuting at the age of 17.
Badiashile also earned his first senior caps for France this year, playing a full 90 minutes in UEFA Nations League fixtures in September against Austria and Denmark before ultimately missing out on the World Cup squad.
With just over 18 months remaining on his contract, Monaco will need to decide if they can tie him down up long term, otherwise it may be time to cash-in.
TOP STORY – CHELSEA TARGET YOUNG MONACO TALENT
According to The Athletic, Badiashile is a player who has been on the Premier League radar for some time, noting a £22million bid from Manchester United back in 2020.
The report claims Badiashile was in no rush to leave back then as he was already a first-team regular, but he has since opened up to the idea of moving on to take the next step of his career.
Chelsea are said to be preparing a £35m offer for the man who has experience playing in a back-three, which would be less than half of the potential asking price for Gvardiol.
– Fichajes is reporting Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has no interest in retaining Argentinian World Cup hero Emiliano Martinez, and would prefer to replace him with Sevilla and Morocco star Yassine Bounou for a fee in the range of £40m.
– Chelsea are in the best position to land 23-year-old West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as he enters the final 18 months of his contract, per The Athletic.
– Journalist Nicolo Schira is reporting Atletico Madrid have agreed to personal terms with 26-year-old Leicester City centre-back Caglar Soyuncu, and he could be allowed to join the club in January despite his contract not expiring until the end of the season.
– Atletico will allow Joao Felix to join a Premier League club on loan in January if their financial demands are met, per the Mirror.
– According to Teamtalk, Liverpool and Tottenham are included in the Premier League sides prepared to offer a contract to 27-year-old Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar for when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.