Chelsea are closing in on a €37 million deal to sign Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, sources have told ESPN.
The 21-year-old is expected to undergo a medical within the next 24 hours after agreeing terms on a long-term contract.
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Assuming the transfer is completed, Badiashile will strengthen the Blues’ centre-back options and he represents a cheaper alternative to RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, who had been the club’s top defensive target but the two clubs have so far not been able to agree a fee .
Badiashile has made 106 league appearances for Monaco and twice represented France at senior level, although he missed out on a place in Didier Deschamps’ World Cup finals squad in Qatar.
He represents the latest step in new co-owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s plan to sign young players with big potential on long-term deals as part of an overhaul of Chelsea’s squad under head coach Graham Potter.
Badiashile will also help bolster a backline which lost Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger on free transfers last summer. Chelsea signed Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana but it remains to be seen whether this is Thiago Silva’s final season at Stamford Bridge.
The 38-year-old remains an important member of the squad and is expected to hold talks about his future soon with less than six months left to run on his contract.