Chelsea have made their first bid for a right-back target they have chosen as an ideal player to compete with Reece James, according to a report.
James is currently the main right-back Chelsea have at their disposal. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta can also feature in that role, but it depends on the formation Graham Potter uses. Besides, the Spaniard might not be around at Stamford Bridge for much longer anyway.
Azpilicueta has been identified as one of several players facing an uncertain future with Chelsea. Hence, if he leaves, Potter will be wanting someone else to provide cover for James.
Indeed, the England international has encountered several injury issues in recent years. Therefore, Chelsea need to find a valid alternative in case of any absences.
They have been linked with several potential targets, such as Denzel Dumfries or Pedro Porro. But a slightly lower profile they have also been considering now appears to have become their chosen target.
Over the weekend, reports named Lyon full-back Malo Gusto as the latest player under consideration by Chelsea. Things seem to have accelerated quickly, because Foot Mercato now reports that Chelsea have made their “first offer” to the Ligue 1 side.
Gusto is a Lyon academy graduate who has amassed 54 appearances for the French club by the age of 19. His contract with them is only due to last until the end of next season, though.
Regardless of the situation, Lyon have been against the idea of selling Gusto in January. After all, he has started 15 league matches for them so far this season.
But a big bid from Chelsea could change their minds. The report from Foot Mercato cannot yet provide any details of how much the Premier League side might have offered for his services, but they are very powerful from a financial standpoint.
Malo Gusto could be next Chelsea signing
This month alone, Todd Boehly has overseen the signings of Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke, as well as the loan capture of Joao Felix.
It has followed a summer in which Chelsea signed the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana for big money.
Their spending is showing no signs of slowing down. Perhaps Gusto could be the next arrival at Stamford Bridge.
He has never played for anyone other than Lyon in his short career to date. Hence, moving to the Premier League would be a new challenge for him.
But as long as James is fit and Azpilicueta is among the ranks too, there would be no immediate pressure on him to perform.
Instead, Gusto could develop over time, as Chelsea have planned for other young recruits like Carney Chukwuemeka, Omari Hutchinson and Cesare Casadei.
Thanks to his existing experience, he would hope to get a decent look-in from Potter. But his integration could be gradual, which may help him in the long run.
For now, it is over to Lyon to respond to Chelsea’s bid.