Chelsea planning January move for £35m-rated Ligue 1 defender

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Chelsea are reportedly planning to make a £35m January move for Nice centre-back Youcef Atal if their transfer ban appeal goes well in January.

The West London club have conceded 11 goals in just five Premier League games this campaign and their boss Frank Lampard is now believed to be prioritising the signing of a new central defender to increase the competition to Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori.

The Blues were prohibited from making transfers for the upcoming two windows after breaching rules about securing the services of young players, however, they are currently challenging the ban and should it be lifted, the Daily Mail claims that Atal is one of their top transfer targets this summer.

The 23-year-old has joined Nice from Paradou AC in his native Algeria last summer, going on to finding back of the net six times in 29 Ligue 1 games.

Atal already has 14 caps for his national team and he played for them yesterday against Benin in their first friendly game since the African Cup of Nations back in July.

Meanwhile, Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger continues his recovery and is available for selection ahead of Champions League clash against Valencia for tomorrow as the Blues have made a return to Europe’s most elite competition after last season failure.