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Chelsea target OGC Nice defender Youcef Atal

OGC Nice defender Youcef Atal

Bengaluru, May 3: Chelsea plot a big money move in the summer for OGC Nice defender Youcef Atal who has impressed in his first spell at Ligue 1 this season.

The West London outfit are currently under a transfer ban which will stop them from registering any new player in the next two windows, but they are hopeful that FIFA’s Appeal Committee will overturn the transfer ban, at least till coming Summer window which could allow them, sign players, momentarily.

The Blues are reportedly ready to splash the cash on several positions and the right-back position is one of the major areas which Sarri is apparently looking to recruit first.

Cesar Azpilicueta has been Sarri’s preferred option at right-back this season while academy ace Reece James looks likely to be given a chance at Stamford Bridge next term following an impressive loan spell at Wigan in the Championship.

However, according to reports, Sarri still wants another option in the right-hand side and Nice star Atal, 22, has emerged as a serious option.

The Algerian international is a versatile player and apart from defence can also play comfortably in the mid-table. Last weekend he became the first Algerian to score a hat-trick in Ligue 1 for 33 years at the weekend playing on the left of midfield, in Nice’s 3-0 win over Guingamp.

Apart from Chelsea, other major European clubs like Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Spanish La Liga giants Atletico Madrid are also interested in him.

Atal is open to the idea of a move to Europe's top sides and it’s understood the lure of Champions League football could be an advantage. However, former Arsenal player and Nice boss Patrick Vieira has already insisted that the youngster is not for sale and will not be allowed to leave the club next season.

Although, rumours are that the player could be sold if any big offers, in the region of at least €40 million arrives although with so much demand that price could further go up.

Atal has made 26 appearances for Patrick Vieira's side in 2018/19 and has scored six goals till now.

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Story first published: Friday, May 3, 2019, 14:04 [IST]
Other articles published on May 3, 2019
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