Chelsea targeting swoop for Nice defender
Chelsea are being linked with a swoop for Nice right-back Youcef Atal, should they get the green light to make new signings in January.
Reports are rife suggesting that Chelsea are confident of having their transfer embargo lifted in the new year, and are setting about lining up new signings for when the window opens.
Agents have been instructed to broker potential deals, and there are a number of positions that Chelsea need to strengthen after being unable to bring anyone in during the summer.
Defence is one area for sure. The Blues have been far from convincing at the back, conceding way too many goals and it is an issue that needs addressing at the first opportunity.
Right-back is a position that boss Frank Lampard is looking to bolster following a disappointing start to the campaign by Cesar Azpilicueta, who has been guilty of committing a number of errors.
Chelsea do have the highly-rated Reece James, but he is currently out of the side with an ankle injury picked up in May and is not due back until the end of the month.
With that in mind, Chelsea are now being linked with a swoop for Algeria international Atal, who had an outstanding season last term in Ligue 1 with Nice.
He bagged six goals in 29 appearances and reports suggest that Chelsea would have to pay at least £35million to get him on board.
There is the chance that Nice could decide to dig in and not sell as they have just been taken over by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe and will be under no pressure to let go of key players.
Chelsea are back in action this weekend when they take on Wolves and will need to improve dramatically at the back after conceding nine goals in four games already this season.
Michael Holland is a reporter with over two decades of journalism experience. A Bolton fan, Michael often writes football articles, as well as having a strong knowledge of golf, cricket and Australian sports.