Chelsea are being tipped to make a £35million bid for Nice defender Youcef Atal if their two-window transfer ban is lifted in January.
The Blues have had a mixed start to the new Premier League season, with a win, two draws and a defeat from their opening four games – leaving them 11th in the table at this early stage of the campaign.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has admitted concerns about his side’s defensive issues, with the west London outfit already shipping nine goals in those four games.
And to that end, the latest reports suggest that the Stamford Bridge chief is ready to move for Atal, although whether that will be in January or next summer remains to be seen.
Chelsea are currently banned from buying players as a result of a two-window transfer ban for breaking rules regarding the signing of young players.
However, the club have contested the punishment and remain hopeful that the ban will be overturned, leaving them free to sign players in January.
Atal has emerged as a key player for Nice, who are managed by Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira, having joined the club from Algerian side Paradou AC last year.
He made 29 appearances for the club in 2018-19, while he’s also represented Algeria 13 times.
If Chelsea are successful in their pursuit of the centre-back, he would provide strong competition for the trio of Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori at Stamford Bridge.
Get the latest personalised Blues products on our new TEAMtalk Chelsea shop!