Chelsea report: Blues agree £33m deal to sign highly-rated France centre-half

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter during a training session on 30 December, 2022
(Image credit: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea (opens in new tab) have reportedly agreed a deal with Monaco (opens in new tab) to sign centre-back Benoit Badiashile.

The Blues are said to have prioritised the 21-year-old as an alternative to Croatia prodigy Josko Gvardiol, as they look to bring in a left-sided central defender.

According to The Athletic (opens in new tab), Badiashile is set to move to Stamford Bridge for a fee in the region of €37-38million (around £33m).

Benoit Badiashile of Monaco looks on during the UEFA Europa League match between Monaco and Ferencvaros on 15 September, 2022 at the Stade Louis II in Monaco.

Badiashile has racked up over 100 appearances for Monaco (Image credit: Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

Chelsea lost two centre-halves back in the summer, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both departing – although they did bring in Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana.

However, Badiashile would add a new dimension to the Blues' defensive department and give Graham Potter an exciting new option in either back three or four.

Badiashile penned his first professional contract with Monaco just before his 17th birthday and has made over 100 appearances for the Ligue 1 club.

He made his senior international debut last September, featuring in Nations League games against Austria and Denmark – although he didn't make the cut for France's 2022 World Cup squad.

Benoit Badiashile of France looks on during the UEFA Nations League match between France and Austria on 22 Seprember, 2022 at the Stade de France in Paris, France.

Badiashile in action on his senior France debut (Image credit: James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Badiashile could be one of many January arrivals in West London, with the Guardian (opens in new tab) reporting that Chelsea are eyeing a busy winter transfer window.

The Blues have already agreed terms for 20-year-old Molde and Ivory Coast striker David Datro Fofana (opens in new tab), while 18-year-old Brazilian midfielder is expected to complete a £10m switch from Vasco da Gama, per (opens in new tab).

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Chelsea are said to be on the lookout for replacements for injured right-back Reece James: Celtic's Croatia international Josip Juranovic, and Inter Milan and the Netherlands' Denzel Dumfries have both been touted as potential options (opens in new tab).

The Blues are also said to be leading the race to sign Benfica hotshot Enzo Fernandez (opens in new tab), who was named young player of the tournament as Argentina won the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Everton and England number one Jordan Pickford has emerged as a surprise apparent target for the two-time European champions (opens in new tab).

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...