Chelsea have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Monaco full-back Benjamin Mendy, according to reports
According to the Sun, Jose Mourinho has already been targeting Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy as he looks to revamp his squad but will now have to battle it out with Chelsea in order to sign the French international.
They state that Antonio Conte is considering a move of around £26 million for the 22-year old as he looks to reinforce his squad in order to cope with the added pressures of the UEFA Champions League next season.
Mendy, who progressed through Le Havre’s youth system before joining Marseille in 2013 only made the move to Monaco at the start of this season for a fee of £11 million, signing a 5-year deal with the Ligue 1 side.
He has quickly risen to prominence under Leonardo Jardim this season along with the rest of the Monaco side, who have been one of the surprise packages in the UEFA Champions League this season and are currently locked in a title race with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.
A well-rounded defender who is a huge asset in both attack and defense, Mendy has been registering an average of 0.90 key passes, 1.14 chances created, 1.57 successful take ons, 1.81 tackles won, 1.81 interceptions and 3.48 clearances per 90 minutes in the French league, according to Squawka.
Luke Shaw has struggled to break into the first team this season and his slightly fractious relationship with Jose Mourinho is well documented. There have been several reports that Shaw could be offloaded this summer – with Tottenham said to be interested – paving the way for a new left-back.
Mendy is a hard-working, tenacious player who fits the profile that Mourinho looks for in defenders and given that the Portuguese tactician has been forced to deploy right-back Matteo Darmian at left-back several times this season, it is no surprise he is on the lookout for a quality addition in that position.
Chelsea will definitely need reinforcements ahead of the next season as Marcos Alonso is currently their only specialist left wing-back.
Mendy’s overall ability and performances this season definitely show that he would fit into Conte’s system and the fact that he is 22 means that he can form the core part of Chelsea’s team under Conte for years to come.
However, given that Mendy’s contract runs till 2021, Monaco will not be under any pressure to sell the Frenchman. That said, a large enough bid could convince them to part ways with Mendy but it remains to be seen if the Sun’s figure of £26 million will be sufficient.