Man Utd and Barcelona plot impressive last-minute hijack of Chelsea deal for Ligue 1 defender

Benoit Badiashile, Monaco defender, speaks at a press conference before Ligue 1 game v PSG Credit: Alamy
Benoit Badiashile, Monaco defender, speaks at a press conference before Ligue 1 game v PSG Credit: Alamy

Chelsea are close to signing Benoit Badiashile from Monaco, but now face competition from Manchester United and Barcelona, according to reports. 

All three teams are looking for defensive reinforcements in January and the 21-year-old centre-back could represent an excellent investment for the future.

It would be a stunning last-minute twist should the Frenchman opt for Old Trafford or the Nou Camp ahead of Stamford Bridge, but with the transfer window yet to open, anything could happen.

TEAMtalk reported yesterday that Chelsea were the frontrunners in the race for Badiashile for a deal in the region of £50m, as they look for added cover at the back.

The imposing defender came through the Monaco youth system and has played 135 times in all competitions since breaking into the first-team squad in 2018.

Badiashile has been in fine form for Monaco this season, after making 11 solid appearances in Ligue 1, helping his side to three clean sheets. His aggressive, commanding style has been praised by pundits, with one comparing him to a ‘polished Kurt Zouma.’

He is also left-footed, which means he is in a good position to replace Koulibaly on the left side of the back three, who Graham Potter is allegedly unimpressed with. 

As a young player, he has sky-high potential and could end up being an excellent long-term replacement for Thiago Silva.

Man Utd, Barcelona enter race for Badiashile

However, L’Equipe have since suggested that Manchester United and Barcelona are also in hot pursuit for the young defender, which could scupper Chelsea’s deal for Badiashile at the last moment.

Erik ten Hag brought in a solid centre-back in Lisandro Martinez in the summer, but some of the performances put in by Harry Maguire and Victor Lindlelof have left a lot to be desired, suggesting the Dutch coach could look to add reinforcements this January.

It’s no secret that the Red Devils are looking to add quality to their squad this winter, with Lille forward Jonathan David and former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata both on their shortlist.

Indeed, Badiashile could be a smart investment for Ten Hag, as his transfer value is likely to only rise in the future.

As for Barcelona, according to reports coming out of France, the Catalans have already made a contract proposal to Badiashile but they can only afford to do a transfer in summer, not in January.

Therefore, Barca are currently trying to convince Badiashile to wait before leaving Monaco until the end of the season.

Barca boss Xavi is currently relying upon Andreas Christensen and natural left-back Marcos Alonso as his centre-halves, so he could definitely do with some more cover in that area.

Despite this late interest, it is still most likely that Badiashile will be heading to West London in January, barring a sizeable last-minute United bid.

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