The Blues have reportedly negotiated a fee to recruit Fenerbahce’s towering defender Attila Szalai.
This is according to Turkish news outlet CNN Turk, who claim the Blues have reached an agreement with Fenerbahce over the transfer of their Hungarian international.
CNN Turk claim Szalai will join the Champions League holders for €23.4m on a six-year deal, earning €4m per year.
This possible move has not been officially confirmed by either party, but it hints towards Chelsea’s outlook on the future. Szalai is a left-footed centre-back, who plays in a back three for both club and country.
Chelsea are potentially about to lose their left-sided defensive brick in the form of Antonio Rudiger, whose contract expires next summer. Understandably, the preference of the Stamford Bridge hierarchy would be to resolve Rudiger’s issue and extend his stay a little longer.
But in the extremely likely scenario that doesn’t happen, they need a contingency plan. That may well arrive in the sizeable frame of Szalai, who stands at a giant 6ft 3inches. Extremely hard to miss from a distance, the 23-year-old also lets opponents wary of his presence from close up.
Despite his size, the Fenerbahce also has a turn of pace.
"I think his best trait is that he is really fast and strong,” said Petros Konnafis, the man who signed Szalai at Apollon Limassol. “He’s still young and he needs maybe a bit more experience to read the game better so he makes better decisions but he’s already improved a lot.”
The Blues supporters might see if Szalai is the real deal before too long.