Chelsea have made an approach to sign Everton’s wantaway left-back Lucas Digne, with Thomas Tuchel keen on defensive reinforcements.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea have made contact with Lucas Digne’s representatives, exploring a potential deal in the upcoming January transfer window. The reigning European champions are aware of the defender’s situation at Everton after his falling out with coach Rafa Benitez a few weeks ago.

Digne is prepared to leave Goodison Park in January as he looks to take the next step in his career. He hasn’t had any shortage of suitors either, with Napoli and Juventus among the clubs desperate to secure his services. Juve have even reportedly offered Everton a swap deal involving the opportunity to sign Arthur Melo.

The Toffees, for their part, have acted rather quickly in light of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the first-choice left-back. As such, they are closing in on the capture of Vitaliy Mykolenko. The Ukrainian international will soon be unveiled as an Everton player and is expected to be considered as a direct replacement for Digne.

As for Chelsea, their pursuit of the French international stems from the uncertainty around their left-back department. The club’s first-choice option in Ben Chilwell has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season due to a serious knee injury that requires surgery.

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Chilwell’s alternative, Marcos Alonso, has done well for himself, but the Spaniard often makes errors in crunch situations. He is certainly not among the most consistent players in Europe. The former Fiorentina star has also been linked with a return to Serie A, with Napoli reportedly keen on snapping him up.

It has accentuated the need for a new left-back, as Tuchel looks to build a solid base for the future. And that is where someone like Lucas Digne could prove to be a handy signing.

With 113 Premier League appearances, the Frenchman has adequate experience in English football. His tactical flexibility and ability to create chances should help him settle in quickly under Tuchel’s philosophy as well – one that usually requires full-backs to be versatile enough to operate as wing-backs.

However, it will be a challenge for Chelsea to secure a deal for Digne, knowing Everton might be wary of offloading their top player to a direct league rival. But with the Merseyside giants suffering from a financial crisis, a lot may depend on the player, knowing the club cannot afford to keep him at Goodison Park beyond January.

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