Benoit Badiashile: Chelsea closing in on £35m signing from Monaco as Graham Potter targets strengthening defence | Football News

Chelsea are in further talks to sign Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile for a fee of around £35m.

The 21-year-old has won two full caps for France.

Former Tottenham chief of recruitment Paul Mitchell is sporting director at Monaco, who are open to a sale.

Head coach Philippe Clement said of the prospect of losing players like Badiashile next month: “As coaches, we are always happy when the transfer window closes.

“We will see. It depends on the situation, if they are interesting for the club or not. The most important thing for me is that the players have their mind here, and that is the case.”

Chelsea's Wesley Fofana lay injured on the ground during the match against Milan
Chelsea’s Wesley Fofana is a left-sided defender

The 6ft 4in France international – a left-sided centre-back – has always wanted to play for a Premier League club competing for the Champions League, with West Ham and Sevilla reportedly interested in the past.

Graham Potter is looking for flexibility in his backline with Chelsea now sweating over the fitness of Wesley Fofana after the defender suffered a setback in the closed friendly against Brentford.

Potter said before the game against Bournemouth: “Wesley [Fofana] experienced only minor setbacks that can sometimes occur in the later stages of recovery. It will take a few weeks so he won’t be able to play for that game.”

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Croatia’s 20-year-old World Cup star Josko Gvardiol has also attracted plenty of interest from Chelsea but Sun claiming his rising value and reputation have led the Blues to consider more immediate options.

Chelsea’s January transfer plans assessed

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Chelsea manager Graham Potter admitted he was impressed with Hakim Ziyech’s World Cup performance for Morocco, confirming Reece James is fit but 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 begin to build a squad that can compete for years to come.

“It is a consistent policy to give Graham Potter a long-term contract and it is an approach that will be common practice at Stamford Bridge for years to come.

“It has already been proven with the pre-contract summer deal for French international Christopher Nkunku but this January they are looking for midfielders and strikers.

“An injury to Armando Broja has left them light up front and they are the bottom scorers at the top with just 17. In midfield, N’Golo Kante is often absent.

“Like Nkunku, Declan Rice may be available at a reasonable price in the summer, but Chelsea don’t want to let go of their bid to qualify for the Champions League without a game. I expect them to try to make a January signing. .”

How much have Chelsea spent recently?

In short – a lot. Chelsea were the biggest spenders in the Premier League in the summer, paying £278.4m for 10 new players as the club’s new owners made their presence felt.

At £75m, Wesley Fofana was the Blues’ most expensive signing, while £63m was spent on Marc Cucurella and £47.5m was paid to Manchester City for Raheem Sterling.

What issues do Chelsea need to address?

The Evening Standard’s Nizaar Kinsella discusses Chelsea’s appointment of Christopher Vivell as their new technical director and the changing approach the club is taking to scouting.

There are a number of issues troubling Graham Potter as he sees his side’s form collapse in the weeks leading up to the World Cup. However, there are two problems in particular that hurt Chelsea – a lack of creativity and a lack of goals.

The Blues have an expected goals average of just 15.61 from their 14 Premier League games – only six other teams have a lower figure – while they have scored just 17 goals in those games. For context, Manchester City have a total xG of 28.09 and have scored 40 goals in the same period.

The fact that no player managed more than two assists in the league speaks volumes – with Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling top scorers with just three goals each.

Chelsea have not been great performers under Thomas Tuchel but they will continue to regress under Potter unless they address their dysfunctional attack.


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