Catch all the biggest Chelsea headlines including updates on Benoit Badiashile, Enzo Fernandez and Youssoufa Moukoko
Hello and welcome to today’s dedicated Chelsea live blog
The Blues got their 2023 off to a far from idea start, as they only managed to draw 1-1 with relegation threatened Nottingham Forest yesterday. Raheem Sterling gave his side the lead in the clash, but former Tottenham man Serge Aurier equalised as both teams shared the points.
Elsewhere, the January transfer window is now open as the Blues look set to make a number of signings to bolster their squad for the rest of the season. A number of players continue to be linked, including the likes of Enzo Fernandez and Rafael Leao, while Benoit Badiashile is reported to be “close” to joining.
With that said, keep the blog on lock as we bring you all the latest Chelsea news.
Every word from Graham Potter post-Forest
Raheem Sterling saw his first half strike cancelled out by former Tottenham star Serge Aurier as Chelsea drew their opening game of 2023 against Nottingham Forest.
Graham Potter spoke to the press after the result and in case you missed it, football.london has every word said by the Chelsea boss.
Joao Felix latest
Joao Felix looks increasingly likely to leave Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window. Felix’s agent, Jorgen Mendes, is set to hold further talks with Premier League clubs now the transfer window has officially opened.
The 23-year-old forward has been told he can stay at Atletico Madrid should he wish, despite reports linking him with a move to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. Following Portugal’s World Cup campaign, Felix has become a potential acquisition for a number of clubs with his Atletico Madrid future up in the air.
Chelsea are said to be weighing up a decision on whether to pursue a deal for the Portugal international, with Todd Boehly prepared to act swiftly to conclude a deal. The Gunners could certainly be tempted by a move for Felix as Edu and Mikel Arteta look set to enquire for a number of attackers in January for a possible Gabriel Jesus replacement following his knee injury.
A World Cup winner targeted by Chelsea has returned
Following his role in Argentina’s World Cup victory, Alexis Mac Allister was given time off to rest and recover ahead of returning to Brighton in the new year.
A number of Premier League clubs including Chelsea have registered an interest in the Brighton star and he has now returned to the South coast where he was greeted by seemingly all of of the Brighton squad and staff.
Secret agent in Felix deal
Arsenal have a ‘secret agent’ they can use in negotiations to sign Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix on loan in January. The Gunners are in need of a new forward given Gabriel Jesus’ injury leaving Mikel Arteta’s attacking options weakened.
An injury to one of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah would leave Arsenal severely short in attack making a new forward a priority area to strengthen. Mykhaylo Mudyrk is the number one target for the Gunners who saw a £55million bid, including add-ons, rejected last week with talks set to continue, football.london understands.
Fernandez debut vs Man City?
Chelsea fans didn’t get the new year’s gift they were hoping for after a drab 1-1 draw against relegation threatened Nottingham Forest. It means that Graham Potter has not recorded back-to-back league wins since October and his first three games in charge, as the gap to the top four opens up to seven points.
Erling Haaland has still scored more goals than the entire squad combined and pressure is mounting ahead of a tough January fixture list that will be navigated without Reece James available. The saving grace throughout this period is that the transfer window is open once more and new signings can be made.
Joao Felix obstacle
Arsenal and Chelsea are among the clubs to be approached over signing Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix on loan until the end of the season. Manchester United have also been courted, but the finances involved in any deal for the Portuguese star may prove to be an issue.
Felix was signed by Atleti back in 2019 after the 23-year-old completed a £110million transfer, but his return of just 34 goals and 18 assists in 130 appearances falls way below expectation. Many have questioned Felix’s move to Atletico considering how Diego Simeone sets his team up to play, with some pundits suggesting the Portugal international would suit a more attacking style.
Chelsea will have to remain calm in a busy and frantic January transfer window as a crucial time in the club’s immediate future comes into prominence. Although some good proactive work has been done to add youth to the squad in an attempt to shore up future squads there is a more pressing need for players.
Five players that featured against Nottingham Forest were 30 or older despite the plan being to transform Chelsea into a younger and hungrier set of players. That takes time, but January offers an opportunity to make amends for previous failures.
With Enzo Fernandez now the main priority for the window Chelsea are moving quickly to get a deal done for the 21-year-old World Cup star. He has become their top target for the winter but isn’t an easy move to get over the line. With a massive release clause and wider competition for his signature, Chelsea are under pressure to complete the signing.
It was a frustrating evening for Chelsea as they took on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground and returned to some familiar ways. Graham Potter’s side were unable to challenge the opposition goal often enough or find much fluency on the first day of the year as they stumbled to a 1-1 draw.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring when a Christian Pulisic cross caused an obscure deflection from Willy Boly leading to the ball hitting the crossbar for the England international to blast into the net. The Blues were in a good position just after the 15-minute mark but the home side fought their way back into the game, and when the sides returned for the second half, Steve Cooper’s team went well into the ascendancy.
Serge Aurier finished well when Chelsea were unable to clear a corner and while Potter made plenty of changes, it could be argued that Forest had the better chances despite the Blues superior possession. Potter gave credit to the opposition for their second half performance.
Goncalo Ramos interest
A wide forward is all well and good, but what Chelsea really need is to add a prolific striker to the squad. Their best striker right now is essentially Kai Havertz, who isn’t a striker. The move that the fans would really love to see happen would be Victor Osimhen from Napoli.
Napoli are unlikely to sell in January but they do tend to listen to high offers and not stand in the way of departures. Other options to explore for Chelsea could be Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic or Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos.
Chelsea got their 2023 underway with a difficult away game against Nottingham Forest, who had earned 11 of their 13 points at home before the clash. The Blues got off to an ideal start though, with a bit of fortune as Willy Boly’s clearance was turned onto the bar, only for Raheem Sterling to score the rebound.
The second half wasn’t quite as simple though as former Tottenham defender Serge Aurier bundled the ball into the back of the net to draw Forest level. The home side seemed much more likely to earn all three points come the end, but were unable to find the breakthrough as both teams settled for a point.
The Blues end the gameweek sitting in eighth, with a number of tough fixtures ahead of them in the next few weeks that could provide a huge challenge in the pursuit of a top four finish. Some key players remain absent for Graham Potter, who will need them to return swiftly for a return to form.
Borussia Dortmund striker Youssoufa Moukoko is said to like one project over the rest amid links with a move to Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. The 18-year-old is moving towards becoming a free agent in the next six-months, with his contract at the Signal Iduna Park nearing the end.
The youngster has impressed in a breakout season for the Bundesliga club, even managing to earn himself a place in the Germany national team for the World Cup. With plenty of promise ahead of him, there’s little surprise that there is such interest in him as he nears becoming a free agent.
Reports suggested that a new contract at Dortmund could be on the table, but his agent – Patrick Williams – has spoken out on those, telling Sky Sports Germany: “I can confirm that we are not about to conclude a contract extension with Borussia Dortmund. I can also assure you that the numbers that are circulating are simply not correct and Youssoufa was never offered that much. But we are still in contact with Dortmund and will see what the next few days bring.”
Forest talking points
Away woes continue
The exasperation in the voice of the Chelsea head coach was clear as a post-match autopsy was carried out in front of the media. “It’s too easy to push us off the track, too easy to win challenges, too easy to bully us. What stops l that? Pure mentality. Stop it by pure mentality.”
Those were not words delivered by Graham Potter after yesterday’s draw with Nottingham Forest. Such bluntness isn’t the 47-year-old’s style, at least not publicly. No, they came from the mouth of Thomas Tuchel back in August after Chelsea were defeated by Southampton.
Different coach, same problem. That is the gist – and it’s partly why such frustration has built following the clash at the City Ground. It shouldn’t be like this. It shouldn’t be this predictable: a tricky away stadium, a hostile crowd, a Chelsea performance that wilts under the pressure.
Chelsea could miss out on Felix with efforts being focused elsewhere. Despite Fofana coming in there’s still a need to pick up another forward to deputise for Broja, Fofana could still leave on loan.
The January transfer window is officially open, with teams looking to consolidate their squads before the latter half of the season. Chelsea look set to break several records over the winter market as the club have informed Benfica they are prepared to break their transfer record to secure the signing of World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez,
Todd Boehly, Chelsea co-owner and interim sporting director, looks set to continue his squad overhaul as the new ownership’s philosophy is implemented. The summer saw the beginning of that process, where over £250million was spent on a number of players to rebuild the side after some key exits.
That hasn’t led to much consistency for the Blues though, who have also had a change of manager with Graham Potter appointed. With the mid-season break for the World Cup now out of the way, the side will be hoping to return in a richer vein of form to make a push for European football next season.
Guardiola Leao steal
Arsenal will need to sign a wing-forward ahead of next season to further complement Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus. Arsenal have seemingly already identified this player, and have potentially eliminated Chelsea as being a stumbling block.
According to Italian news outlet Tuttomercato, Chelsea are willing to compete to sign Rafael Leao from AC Milan. To secure his services a transfer could cost upwards of £100million, with £105million bids expected to be launched.
Considering the stardom of Leao, and Arsenal’s need for a winger, Edu can throw his hat in the ring, as he did previously. But, the Gunners are not the only challengers to Chelsea, as Manchester City are also reported to be interested in the winger.
Board decision on Enzo
Chelsea appear to be moving closer to landing Benfica star midfielder Enzo Fernandez in the January transfer window, but there’s still some uncertainty surrounding a move. The youngster has become a target for the Blues as the winter market opens, with the midfield in need of a rework.
Fernandez impressed especially over the World Cup, where he was a consistent performer for Argentina in the tournament. The nation ended up as eventual winners for a third time, with the Benfica ace going on to win Young Player of the Tournament at the award ceremony.
Plenty of sides have since been linked with a switch, but the Blues are the club that appear to be clear favourites to land his signature. According to Relevo, they are “one step closer” to landing the youngster, with just formalities that need to be sorted to ensure the deal goes through.
Here is your Chelsea transfer roundup on Monday, January 2.
January deal ‘confirmed’
Chelsea have sealed the signing of French defender Benoit Badiashile in the January transfer window, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. The deal is said to be worth £33.6million with add-ons included, with the medical set to go ahead today after not featuring for Monaco.
Manager Graham Potter was quizzed on the signing of the youngster, but refused to comment before any deal was fully confirmed.
Your morning Chelsea digest on Monday, January 2.
Chelsea ‘agree’ £33million fee for Benoit Badiashile
Chelsea are in the market for a new striker, central midfielder, centre-back and back up option for Reece James, football.londonunderstands.
The Blues are closing in on the signing of Benoit Badiashile after agreeing a £33million fee with Monaco, as per The Athletic.
The deal for the 21-year-old is worth in the region of €37-38million (£32.8million-£33.7million) with the Blues having agreed personal terms with Badiashile on long-term contract. The French defender’s medical is in process of being scheduled by the club.
Borussia Dortmund striker Youssoufa Moukoko is said to like one project over the rest amid links with a move to Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
The 18-year-old is moving towards becoming a free agent in the next six-months, with his contract at the Signal Iduna Park nearing the end
Chelsea face a huge few weeks ahead of them in the race to finish in the top four, coming up against rivals in the opening stages of the new year. They would have hoped to go into that run with a much-needed win over struggling Nottingham Forest on the first day of January.
They made an ideal start to that plan too as Willy Boly’s attempt to stop a cross saw the ball ricochet off the crossbar, with Raheem Sterling taking advantage of that by scoring the rebound. The second half wasn’t quite as kind to the Blues though as former Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier equalised.
Chelsea appear to be moving closer to landing Benfica star midfielder Enzo Fernandez in the January transfer window, but there’s still some uncertainty surrounding a move.
The youngster has become a target for the Blues as the winter market opens, with the midfield in need of a rework.
Chelsea are set to host a medical for defender Benoît Badiashile today as they prepare for the youngster to sign for £33.6million from AS Monaco.
The Frenchman could be join in time for the clash with Manchester City coming up.
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