Chelsea are reportedly ‘considering’ a move for Aston Villa star Matty Cash as a backup for Reece James.
James has missed half of the season with a knee problem and a third of his career in total through injury.
And owner Todd Boehly is keen to find a backup option for James in January, as well as transfers to improve in three further positions.
Cash moved to Villa from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2020 and has impressed both in the Premier League and for Poland having become a full international.
He’s one of a number of right-backs Chelsea are considering in January, according to Simon Phillips.
But the Blues are also want to sign a central midfielder, a wide forward and a striker in this window, according to reports.
Enzo Fernandez was their top midfield target but Benfica have gone cold in that negotiation having felt “disrespected” by Chelsea’s tactics.
They’re keen on Marcus Thuram as a new centre forward, who could be available on the cheap as his contract nears its end.
But the Borussia Monchengladbach star appears keen as it stands to remain with the Bundesliga club until the end of the season when he will be available to move on a free transfer.
They have held talks with the representatives of Mykhaylo Mudryk, but the Ukrainian has his heart set on a move to Arsenal and Shaktar’s £85m valuation is above what Chelsea would be willing to pay in any case.
The Blues are though edging towards the loan capture of Joao Felix.
The Portugal international has been gunning for the Atletico exit having fallen out of favour with manager Diego Simeone.
Arsenal and Manchester United were thought to be battling to sign the 23-year-old, but it looks as though Chelsea have swooped to land him.
David Ornstein of The Athletic has revealed the ‘verbal agreement’ and claims the loan fee is £9m for the rest of the season.
He also confirmed that both United and Arsenal were interested but Felix opted for Chelsea as the ‘project appealed‘.
CBS journalist Ben Jacobs says Chelsea will pay all of Felix’s wages, which amount to £5.3m, and claims that although Chelsea are pushing, Atletico are yet to agree to a buy option in the contract.
He claims Chelsea had ‘backed away from signing him but reprioritised him again in the past 48 hours after the two losses to Manchester City and talks with Graham Potter’, with ‘short-term needs’ trumping their concerns over a lack of ‘long-term value’.
Talks are ‘very advanced’ and while ‘another suitor could technically counter’, both Arsenal and United ‘made it clear anything above a £5m loan fee was (with no option) too high’.
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