Benoit Badiashile to Chelsea: Graham Potter coy on £33m transfer for Monaco defender amid January vow

Benoit Badiashile to Chelsea: Graham Potter coy on £33m transfer for Monaco defender amid January vow

Graham Potter is remaining tight-lipped on Chelsea’s impending deal for Benoit Badiashile.

Standard Sport understands that the Blues have now agreed a £33million fee with Monaco for the France centre-back, who will undergo a medical on Monday after verbally agreeing a six-and-a-half year contract at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2029.

Badiashile will become Chelsea’s third signing of the embryonic January transfer window already, following deals for Molde striker David Datro Fofana - who watched Sunday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Nottingham Forest from the stands at the City Ground - and Vasco da Gama youngster Andrey Santos, both seen as exciting talents for the future.

However, Badiashile is obviously a more immediate first-team signing and was not named in the Monaco matchday squad for their Ligue 1 win over Brest at the Stade Louis II on New Year’s Day as he prepares to travel to west London, having already reportedly bid farewell to his team-mates in the principality.

Chelsea had been targeting a new left-sided defender as a priority this month with the likes of Wesley Fofana and Ben Chilwell out injured and the evergreen Thiago Silva yet to agree an extension to his current contract that expires over the summer.

On the move: Chelsea are set to sign France defender Benoit Badiashile in a £33m transfer (Getty Images)
On the move: Chelsea are set to sign France defender Benoit Badiashile in a £33m transfer (Getty Images)

A deal for Badiashile was able to be struck quickly, with Monaco seemingly keen to cash in on a player who only has 18 months left on his own contract.

However, never one to talk about other teams’ players before transfers are finalised, Potter was eager to bat away questions on the deal after watching Chelsea throw away a half-time lead at struggling Forest as his side dropped yet more points on the road in a difficult battle for Champions League qualification.

"Until someone has told me they have been signed it would be unfair of me to comment,” the Blues boss told Sky Sports. “I've been focussed on the team today."

The arrival of Badiashile is set to take Chelsea’s spending under their new ownership to more than £300m already with a second transfer window under the Todd Boehly/Clearlake regime barely underway, with more intense scrutiny inevitable as January progresses.

However, Potter insists his squad will not be unsettled by the window as more players go in and out and all manner of speculation continues to rage throughout the month.

“It’s part of the season we all have to deal with, so I’m not complaining about it,” he said. “They are human beings and while the window is open, there is noise and 24-hour media that has to be filled with something.

“The January window gives people an opportunity to speak about things, so it’s normal. It’s part of modern-day football and we have to deal with it.”