Benoit Badiashile: Chelsea close in on £35m signing from Monaco as Graham Potter aims to bolster defense | Soccer News

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

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

Former Tottenham recruitment manager Paul Mitchell is Monaco sporting director open to a sale.

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

“We’ll see. It depends on the situations, whether they are interesting for the club or not. The most important thing for me is that the players have their minds here, and they do.”

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

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

Graham Potter is looking for flexibility in his back line, with Chelsea currently sweating over Wesley Fofana’s fitness after the defender suffered a setback in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford.

Potter said before the game against Bournemouth: “Wesley [Fofana] just had a little setback that can sometimes happen at the very last stage of rehabilitation. It will be a few weeks, so he won’t be available for the game.”

20-year-old Croatian World Cup star Josko Gvardiol has also attracted a lot of interest from Chelsea, but The sun claim his growing value and reputation left the Blues considering more immediate options.

Chelsea’s January transfer plans assessed

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Chelsea manager Graham Potter admits he was impressed with Hakim Ziyech’s performance at the World Cup for Morocco, confirms Reece James is fit but N’golo Kante won’t return until March.

Sky Sports’ Paul Gilmour analysis:

“It’s no secret that Todd Boehly targets the best young players in world football as they set out to build a team that can compete for many years to come.

“It is a policy which is consistent with the awarding of a long-term contract to Graham Potter and it is an approach which will become standard practice at Stamford Bridge in the years to come.

“It was already evident with France international Christopher Nkunku’s pre-contract summer deal, but in January they are looking for a midfielder and a striker.

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Despite not winning in five Premier League games, Stephen Warnock believes Chelsea boss Graham Potter needs more time to turn things around.

“Armando Broja’s injury has left them light in the forward positions and they are the worst scorers in the top half with just 17. In midfield, N’Golo Kante has been a regular absentee.

“Like Nkunku, Declan Rice will probably be available at the right price this summer, but Chelsea won’t want to give up their bid to qualify for the Champions League without a fight. I expect them to try to make signings in January. .”

How much have Chelsea spent recently?

To put it simply – a lot. Chelsea have been the Premier League’s biggest spender this summer, paying £278.4million for 10 new players as the club’s new owners made their presence felt.

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

What problems do Chelsea need to solve?

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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 were reportedly a number of issues troubling Graham Potter as he watched his side’s form plummet in the weeks leading up to the World Cup. However, Chelsea suffer from two problems in particular: a lack of creativity and a lack of goals.

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

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

Chelsea were hardly the great performers under Thomas Tuchel, but they will continue to fall back under Potter unless they address their dysfunctional attack.

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