CHELSEA AGREE DEAL TO SIGN DEFENDER
European champions Chelsea are said to have agreed a deal to sign Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai as they attempt to boost their options in that area of the team with the long-term futures of defenders Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen at the club in serious doubt.
CNN Turk confirmed that Chelsea have reached an agreement over the transfer of Szalai from Turkish Super League giants Fenerbahce. According to the Turkish media portal, the Blues have agreed a deal worth €23.4m for Hungarian centre back Szalai.
It was also revealed that 23-year-old Fenerbahce defender Szalai has agreed a contract with Chelsea ahead of moving to Stamford Bridge in January. The Hungarian international has agreed a six-year deal with the European champions and he will receive a salary worth €4m on a yearly basis.
Chelsea had always wanted to sign a centre back this season. They were close to signing French international Jules Kounde from Spanish La Liga side Sevilla in the summer, but they were priced out of a move for the player. The West Londoners even tried to offer players in exchange to make it work. Compatriot Kurt Zouma was offered as a part exchange in the quest to sign Kounde, but their bid was unsuccessful. In the end, Kounde stayed at Sevilla, while French defender Zouma sealed a big money move from Chelsea to fellow London team West Ham United. Zouma has been able to push the Hammers to third place on the Premier League log and within three points of leaders Chelsea with his impressive outings.
German international Rudiger, Danish player Christensen and veteran Brazilian star Thiago Silva are all defenders who could leave Chelsea at the end of this season. They all have less than a year left on their respective existing contracts at the club.