Nice right-back Youcef Atal is on a target list for Chelsea this summer, according to a report.
The Daily Telegraph claims Chelsea are just one of a number of clubs tracking the versatile Algeria international, and should their FIFA ban be delayed they will consider making a move for the 22-year-old.
Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are also understood to have scouted Atal, who blasted a superb hat-trick for Nice in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Guincamp.
Patrick Vieira used Atal as a left-sided forward at the weekend – an unfamiliar attacking role after being mainly deployed as a right-back this season.
Atal’s price tag is understood to be at least €40million and he is under contract until 2023 with Nice in no mood to sell him.
“We are not sellers. Youcef will be here next year,” Vieira told the club’s website on Sunday.
“Youcef is improving. He works a lot. If you look at his goals, you see the aggression he has to be in the right place to score.
“He is a positive character with good spirit. He was rewarded for his efforts. The team allowed him to express himself and to show his talent.
“We were good in possession and that allowed us to be dangerous. What Atal has over the others is his desire to get into the box.
“Youcef played in this position when he was younger, it gives us different options for this season and next. But yes, he will almost certainly move back to his position against Nantes,” Vieira added.
Despite Vieira’s insistence that Atal will not be sold if Nice finish outside the top four, and they look like doing so as they sit eight points behind St Etienne in fourth place at the moment, then they will likely struggle to keep hold of the player, who only joined Nice last summer from Belgian club Kortrijk.