Chelsea are nearing an agreement with Monaco to sign centre-back Axel Disasi, 90min understands.
In response to a thoroughly disappointing 12th-placed finish in the Premier League last season, Chelsea’s ownership embarked upon a fire sale during the opening month of the summer window.
More than £200m has been raised in player sales this summer – most of which were completed before 30 June so that they could be included in the accounts for the 2022/23 campaign.
After jettisoning the likes of Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic, Chelsea are now in a position to provide new manager Mauricio Pochettino with fresh recruits.
Chelsea signed Disasi’s former teammate Benoit Badiashile from Monaco in January and, just seven months later, are closing in on a reunion for the duo in west London. 90min understands that the Blues are in talks with Monaco and a fee in the region of £38m has been floated.
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Chelsea were one of three Premier League clubs that sent scouts to watch Disasi at Monaco in April, as 90min revealed.
Manchester United have prioritised other areas of the pitch while Manchester City’s focus has shifted to RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol. Chelsea have also harboured a long-term interest in the Croatian defender but are expected to miss out on the 21-year-old as City prepare a world-record bid.
Newcastle United also showed interest in the 25-year-old but, just like Manchester United, never made an official bid – much to Disasi’s disappointment after targeting a move this summer.
The day before the news broke of Chelsea’s impending agreement with Disasi, 90min reported that the Blues had taken a major step in the recruitment of Rennes midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu.
Chelsea are thought to be open to loaning Ugochukwu to their sister club Strasbourg in Ligue 1 but Disasi is expected to stay in the capital and provide some much-needed cover for a thin defence.
Following Wesley Fofana’s ACL surgery earlier this summer, Chelsea only have two right-footed options at centre-back; 38-year-old Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah, who has attracted interest from several Premier League clubs. The club felt this was inadequate.
The Blues did explore the option of bringing Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi back to Stamford Bridge this summer but baulked at the lofty asking price and the player’s wage demands.
Former Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire also emerged as a shock alternative in the search for Fofana replacements. The England international would have initially arrived on loan but, again, the overall package proved too rich for Chelsea’s taste.
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