Chelsea have been linked with a move for Nice right-back Youcef Atal in January – provided that they are successful in getting their UEFA transfer ban lifted by then.
Atal is a 23-year old Algerian international who was part of his country’s successful African Cup of Nations winning squad in the summer.
Valued at £35 million, Atal is being lined-up as a potential replacement for long-term right-back and club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, whose place is under threat after high profile errors leading directly to goals against Manchester United and Sheffield United.
Highly rated 19 year old Reece James is also in contention for the right-back slot under Frank Lampard, but he is yet to play this season as he continues to recover from the ankle injury he picked up in May.
Atal caught the eye in his debut campaign for Nice last season, scoring 6 goals in 29 appearances for the Ligue 1 side managed by former Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.