Premier League • England

Chelsea to take January spending over £200m as star completes medical, with transfer now pending announcement

Todd Boehly, Chelsea chairman, after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea look set to spend over £200million in the January transfer window after a seventh player completed a Stamford Bridge medical ahead of joining Graham Potter’s squad.

Chelsea have carried out an overhaul of their squad since Todd Boehly became the new majority owner in May 2022. 10 new players arrived in the summer, including the likes of Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, and a further six have followed them to west London so far this month.

David Datro Fofana joined in a £10.6million deal from Norwegian side Molde. Centre-back Benoit Badiashile was then captured from Monaco, and he cost Chelsea £35m.

Then it was the turn of Andrey Santos to arrive for £18m, followed by Joao Felix. The Blues have reportedly paid Atletico Madrid a £9.7m loan fee for the Portuguese attacker.

Chelsea’s most expensive January signing so far is 22-year-old winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. They spent an initial £62m on him, though the transfer could eventually be worth £89m through bonuses.

Boehly clearly decided Chelsea did not have enough firepower, despite Mudryk’s arrival, and sanctioned the £29m snaring of Noni Madueke recently.

Chelsea’s January spending currently stands at £191.3m. And the arrival of Malo Gusto looks set to take it beyond the £200m mark.

After failing with an initial bid for the Lyon right-back, Chelsea came back with an improved offer worth around €30m (£26.4m). And this was accepted, allowing Chelsea to get the player in for a medical.

Fabrizio Romano reveals all on latest Chelsea signing

As per Fabrizio Romano, Gusto landed in England earlier on Saturday. And he has now completed his Chelsea medical.

He will sign a contract running until summer 2029. The transfer is just awaiting confirmation from both Chelsea and Lyon.

Interestingly, Potter will not benefit from having Gusto in his squad during the 2022-23 campaign. That is because the France U21 international will spend the remainder of the season back on loan at Lyon. He will then link up with Chelsea in the summer.

Lyon fans will potentially be dumbfounded by Gusto’s exit. Following news of Chelsea’s first bid for him, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said: “I would like to make it clear that Malo Gusto, a great hope of the OL, will continue to play for the OL until at least 30 June 2023.”

At the time, this seemed to suggest Aulas had rejected Chelsea’s advances for the 19-year-old defender. But now it is clear he meant Gusto would spend the rest of the season on loan at Lyon, before departing them permanently.

Lyon exit goes through despite manager comments

Laurent Blanc, who is manager of the Ligue 1 side, said on Friday: “The board have guaranteed to me that (Rayan) Cherki and Malo Gusto will be here until the end of the season.”

Blanc will be able to rely on Gusto until the summer. But then he must find a suitable replacement, which will be hard given Gusto’s big influence on the team.

Gusto is a good signing for Chelsea. He is still young but already boasts decent top-flight experience, having made 54 appearances for Lyon. He will likely replace Cesar Azpilicueta in the Blues squad. This will see him compete with Reece James for a spot on the right side of defence.

Meanwhile, TEAMtalk has discovered Brighton’s intentions over midfielder Moises Caicedo amid Arsenal and Chelsea trying to land him.