Premier League • England

Chelsea in frantic talks to offload January signing already as lengthy negotiations reach critical stage

Datro Fofana at Chelsea

One of the plethora of players to join Chelsea this month could already be due for a departure on deadline day if reports in France are to be believed.

Chelsea have certainly been busy in both of the transfer windows that have been open since Todd Boehly assumed control of the club. In the summer, they broke the world record for the most money spent by a single club in one transfer window.

This month, they have barely slowed down, spending on six new signings and also paying for the services of Joao Felix on loan for the rest of the season.

Their strategy has been to bring in players for the present and future of their team. Right now, they need options who can quickly improve their fortunes on the pitch. After all, they currently sit down in 10th place.

Therefore, some of the younger newcomers to their squad might have to be patient. And in fact, one of them could already be on his way out.

According to Foot Mercato, Chelsea have given the green light for David Datro Fofana to leave on loan.

The striker, who recently joined from Molde, is the subject of interest from Ligue 1 side Nice. They are aiming to take him on for the rest of the season before gratefully sending him back to Stamford Bridge.

In fact, negotiations have reportedly been underway between Fofana’s entourage and Nice for a few weeks. Now, those talks are at a critical stage as the transfer deadline approaches.

Nice – currently 10th in Ligue 1 – are aiming to beat another admirer, Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen, to Fofana’s signature.

Fofana has Chelsea future but may need Nice loan first

Chelsea tied the Ivory Coast international to a contract until 2029 with the option of a further year when bringing him in on New Year’s Day.

With no option to buy included in Nice’s loan proposal, Fofana will still get to look forward to a future at Stamford Bridge.

But for the rest of the season, Graham Potter will be calling on the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Felix and Kai Havertz up front, with Armando Broja currently injured.

Chelsea have been the lowest scorers in the top half of the Premier League so far this season. Therefore, they need to find some new solutions in attack. But Fofana might have to wait until next season at the earliest for his chance of genuinely breaking through.

He arrived in west London with a record of 24 goals from 65 games for Molde.

Although he has since made his Chelsea debut, meaning he has technically played for two clubs already this season, his appearances with Molde do not count towards his 2023 involvement, since the Norwegian season ran from April to November.

Therefore, rules that would normally prevent him from making another change of club do not apply in this case. Fofana might benefit from more gametime elsewhere since he is only 20 years old, which means Nice fancy their chances.

Coincidentally, their squad already contains former Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley.

Perhaps Fofana could be the next player they pick up from the same destination, albeit on temporary terms.

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