Chelsea are plotting a summer move for Youcef Atal, who is valued at €40 million by Nice, if the Blues can avoid or delay their transfer ban.
According to Telegraph, Chelsea are keen on Youcef Atal. The Nice right-back has been added to what is a long list of potential summer targets for the Blues, who are looking towards a heavy spending in the summer if they can avoid a transfer ban or sneak in one transfer window before the ban comes into force.
The report iterates that Chelsea are not the only club in pursuit of Atal. Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and several other top European clubs are eyeing a summer move for the 22-year-old, who is in demand after a brilliant maiden season in Ligue 1 with OGC Nice.
Youcef Atal moved to Nice in the summer of 2018 from Belgian club KV Kortrijk and was a hit straight away. Atal has 25 league appearances this season and has 6 goals to his name in the league, including a hat-trick, which saw him become the first Algerian to grab a hat-trick in Ligue 1 in the last 33 years.
The 22-year-old’s form prompted Nice coach Patrick Vieira to insist he is not for sale. But, interest continues to rise, with the likes of Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea named as suitors for Atal.
Among the ones named, Chelsea are facing the potential of not being able to sign players altogether for several windows owing to a transfer ban. But, the Blues are trying to get the transfer ban delayed to sneak in one transfer window. In case they are able to do so, Chelsea are looking for one big flurry in the transfer market to compensate for the inability to sign players in the future transfer windows for a while.
The Blues have seen the right flank not being as active this season under Maurizio Sarri. Davide Zappacosta has not proven to be an able challenger to be the first-choice and Cesar Azpilicueta has struggled to provide much of an attacking outlet while not being as consistent on the defensive front either.
Ola Aina is expected to return from his successful loan spell at Torino. But, the academy star will not be looking to stay at Chelsea unless they can promise him regular opportunities in the first-team, something that looks unlikely. Same goes for Reece James, who will return to Chelsea in the summer, but is already drawing interest from other top clubs.
This has made right-back a necessary reinforcement position in the summer transfer window. Youcef Atal is likely to cost around €40 million as per the report, which will not be much if he can solve the problems plaguing Chelsea’s right side of the back four. Whether Chelsea actually go after Atal will depend a lot on the status of their transfer ban.