Premier League • England

Everton deal perfect news for Tuchel, as new signing tees up Chelsea raid

Rafael Benitez speaking to Everton pair Lucas Digne and Demarai Gray

Chelsea have been given a free run to sign unsettled Everton star Lucas Digne after the Toffees lined up Ukraine international Vitaliy Myolenko.

The left-back, 22, is on course to become an Everton player when the January transfer window opens. Trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano broke the news, revealing Myolenko would complete his medical with the Toffees today (Friday).

The Dynamo Kiev star has reportedly agreed personal terms and will set Everton back around £17.9m.

However, Myolenko’s arrival may have a direct impact on Chelsea’s plans for the winter window.

The Blues are light at left-wingback following Ben Chilwell’s ACL injury. Marcos Alonso has filled the void, though the Spaniard is woefully out of form at present.

Alonso was replaced by Saul Niguez during Chelsea’s clash with Everton on Thursday night after another sub-par showing. The on-loan midfielder has played at wingback before during his latter days at Atletico, though it is far from an ideal solution.

Benitez rift heightens Digne speculation

As such, Chelsea have drawn links with Everton’s Lucas Digne. A loan deal with an option to buy at £21.3m was reportedly on their agenda.

The 28-year-old would fit Tuchel’s demands being a pro-active and attack-minded full-back. Until recently, the thought of selling Digne would’ve been unpalatable at Goodison Park.

However, the Frenchman has reportedly fallen out with Toffees boss Rafael Benitez.

Chelsea target Everton's Lucas Digne

Chelsea could target Lucas Digne after Benitez fall out.

Digne was overlooked for selection against Arsenal and Crystal Palace following an apparent training ground row. For the trip to Chelsea, the Guardian claimed Digne had ruled himself out with an alleged illness.

With a new left-back on the way, a fresh Guardian report stated Digne could now be axed.

In their words, Myolenko’s arrival has ‘paved the way’ for Digne to leave. Romano echoed those sentiments, tweeting Digne ‘could really leave Everton in January if a good proposal arrives’.

As such, all eyes will now be on Tuchel and Chelsea.

Where next for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? Six possible destinations for the Arsenal striker

Injury crisis could force “crazy stuff” – Tuchel

Meanwhile, Tuchel has confirmed Chelsea have two doubts in midfield that may force him to go against what would have been his plan with another player.

He said at a press conference: “Jorginho is a doubt for Sunday as he is in pain. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a doubt because he is in pain. Mateo Kovacic is back in his first training session today.”

One man who may have to up his workload in the meantime is N’Golo Kante. One month will have passed since the Frenchman’s last league start by the time the Wolves game comes around.

Kante was last in action in the Champions League win over Juventus on November 23rd. But he went off in the first half.

Tuchel has already spoken regularly this season about how Chelsea must manage him now he is 30 years old and picking up injuries.

But asked if Kante is ready to start, Tuchel hinted that he may have to adjust his plans.

He replied: “We need to find a balance now as we have put everything on Jorginho’s shoulders. Ruben got injured yesterday, maybe we are forced to do the crazy stuff that we might not do.”

READ MORE: Euro Paper Talk: Chelsea given open invitation as asking price for top target drops below €80m