Chelsea’s search for a central defender has hit crisis point.
The Blues had seen earlier bids for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli of AC Milan rejected, and in their desperation made a £30m move to re-sign David Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain last night.
However, despite Luiz’s apparent willingness to return to West London, the French champions are not particularly minded to make a £20m loss from a player they signed from Chelsea just two years ago.
Sky Sports have been reporting today that the two parties remain in negotiations for a deal to bring the Brazilian international back to Stamford Bridge, but sources in France and England have reported that Chelsea have prepared a contingency plan should that come to nothing.
The Tunisian international had been linked with a move to Everton earlier in the summer, but it now appears that he could be the short-term answer to Chelsea’s defensive issues.
Valencia are expected to confirm the signing of Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala on loan later today, allowing the 27-year-old to leave the Mestalla in a similar arrangement.
If the move is completed, Abdennour will be the second Valencia centre-back to leave for England in the space of a few days, with German international Shkodran Mustafi completing a £35m move to Arsenal earlier this week;
Chelsea made a move to sign the Tunisian international last summer, but the move fell through when Monaco increased the asking price. He then moved to Valencia for an undisclosed fee.
Negotiations are ongoing but it does appear now the Chelsea will be signing a defender – any defender – before the end of the day.
One deal that is much closer to completion is that of left-back Marcos Alonso. The Fiorentina left back as been undergoing a medical today and should complete a £24m move to Stamford Bridge in the coming hours.