Premier League • England

Chelsea transfer latest: Potter turns to Atletico Madrid for defensive ‘fix’ as report claims centre-back deal is on

Jan Oblak and Jose Gimenez

Chelsea are reportedly eyeing a move for an Atletico Madrid defender as Graham Potter looks to strengthen a part of his team that is currently causing concern.

Journalist Rudy Galetti reports that with Chelsea ‘conceding a lot’ and having ‘so many problems in defence’ that there is a feeling from Potter and the club that it’s an area that needs fixing.

And Galetti claims that the Blues are looking at centre-back Jose Maria Gimenez to be a part of that ‘fix’.

Chelsea are looking to strike a deal for the Uruguay international, who has been at Atletico nine years.

The 27-year-old has made 263 appearances for the LaLiga outfit in that time, scoring 10 goals.

However, there is a growing feeling he could be allowed to move in the new year.

That is largely down to Atletico’s failure to qualify for the Champions League group stage, which has put a €30million dent in the club’s finances.

Atletico need to resolve that issue, with Galetti claiming that players, including Gimenez, have been put up for sale.

Chelsea are expected to try and take advantage of the situation by landing Gimenez in a cut-price deal.

The former Danubio star is currently valued at £35m by transfermarkt. If they recouped that figure it would wipe out Atletico’s financial hole straight away.

However, the fact that Chelsea are aware of the need to sell, means a smaller offer is certain to be made.

Gimenez should fit in well at Chelsea

Gimenez is known to be a rugged defender, typically South American, and should adapt well to the Premier League.

His arrival could signal at exit for Kalidou Koulibaly, however. The Senegal star has not had much game time under Potter so far, having been a Thomas Tuchel signing.

Indeed, the new Blues boss has even opted to play full-backs in the centre of defence ahead of Koulibaly.

But whatever happens in January, Potter is expected to be backed by Todd Boehly to bring in his own signings.

Chelsea are back in Premier League action on Saturday evening when they head to in-form Newcastle.

The game will be the final one before the World Cup break and Potter will hoping to arrest a slide that has seen the Blues lose their last three games domestically.

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