Chelsea are reportedly ready to offer £17 million for Attila Szalai, who has been termed as the “Hungarian van Dijk”.

As per a report by Nigerian outlet Pulse, Attila Szalai is the subject of interest from Chelsea over a possible £17 million move in the January transfer window. The 23-year-old central defender is affectionately termed as the “Hungarian van Dijk” in his homeland.

Attila Szalai spent his formative years in Hungary and Austria before graduating from the Rapid Wien academy in 2015. However, his breakthrough in senior-level club football came back in Hungary with Mezokovesd before moving to Apollon Limassol. After two years in Cyprus, the 23-year-old joined Fenerbahce earlier this year in the January transfer window.

To date, Szalai has made 39 appearances for the Turkish giants, chipping in with three goals in the process. In the last few years, his exploits have prompted pundits and fans to term him as the “Hungarian van Dijk”. At the same time, some of the biggest clubs in Europe seem to have set their sights on Szalai, with one of his prospective suitors being Chelsea.

Chelsea are touted to be in the market for a centre-back amid the uncertainties surrounding the future of Antonio Rudiger. In the final year of his deal with the Blues, the German international has been linked with several marquee clubs in Europe, with AS Roma the latest club to emerge in his pursuit.

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With Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva well into their thirties, it would behoove Chelsea to lay down the succession plan for the veteran duo, despite the advent of Trevoh Chalobah. As a result, Chelsea have been linked with defenders like Matthijs de Ligt, Jules Kounde and Pau Torres, with Szalai a viable target as well.

As per the report, it looks like Chelsea are serious about signing the “Hungarian van Dijk”, with a £17 million bid being prepared for the January transfer window, having monitored his progress for the better part of 2021. In addition to Chelsea, Atletico Madrid are also hot on Szalai’s trail.

The reigning La Liga champions are also believed to be scouring the transfer market for central defenders, with Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen one of their targets. Now, it remains to be seen if Chelsea firm up their interest in Szalai and can beat Atletico Madrid to his signature.

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