Chelsea are set to land 'Hungarian van Dijk' Attila Szalai in January, according to his national team manager Marco Rossi.
The Fenerbahce defender will arrive at Stamford Bridge as many Blues centre-backs face uncertain futures. Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva may all leave the club in the coming months.
“Attila Szalai, who plays for Fenerbahce, but I think he is joining Chelsea,” Rossi told Calciomercato.
“Clearly, he has been followed by important clubs in Spain, but apparently his move to Chelsea is a done deal. He would be a great player also for Italian football.”
Szalai is unknown to many English fans but has drawn comparisons to Virgil van Dijk.
The 23-year-old is a tough, physical player who outmuscles opponents on the ball but is deft enough to play long, raking balls forward to teammates. Szalai is left-footed, too, meaning that he could well slot onto the left side of the defence and provide Chelsea with a natural in possession that they don't currently have.
Capped 16 times by his country, the centre-back was included in the final 26-man squad to represent Hungary at Euro 2020 and joined Fenerbahce from Apollon Limassol earlier this year.
Chelsea are still on the lookout for more new defenders.
Matthijs De Ligt has been touted for a move by some reports though Jules Kounde seems a likely target that the European champions will once again revisit, following attempts to sign him during the summer.
Kounde recently interacted with the Blues' Trevoh Chalobah on social media, sparking excitement among fans. A right-footed option used to playing on the right of a defence, the Frenchman could complement the more physical Szalai nicely.
Szalai is valued at £9.9m on Transfermarkt.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.
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