Chelsea and Valencia are interested in signing Nice right-back Youcef Atal, according to Calcimercato.com. The Italian website reports that both clubs will battle it out for the attacking fullback.
The Blues are currently subject to a transfer ban so no move for the Algerian international is imminent, but it hasn’t stopped fans on Twitter speculating over whether the Ligue One star would be a good addition:
Atal would be an absolute top signing
— Vik Sohonie (@VikSoho) 11 September 2019
We've REECE JAMES
— sianjjic@ (@Choondee_jnr) 11 September 2019
Would be great @ChelseaFC
— Soler (@Solerfredo) 11 September 2019
Let's hope this ban is in place a little bit longer, he ain't no RB.
— kilnan (@kkilnan) 11 September 2019
He isn’t the greatest at defending and got 0 assists last season. Not worth it unless he can improve
— Kyal Mason (@KyalMason1) 11 September 2019
If he cost 35M, we should sign him ASAP.
— Chemberleen (@chemberleen) 11 September 2019
I know he is a great player, i have seen him play, but in my opinion we are desperately in need of a established winger and centre back. Another Rb is nothing but luxury!
— Ratul Saha (@ratulsaha1891) 11 September 2019
Versatile player can also play Rw
— CHANDHAN (@chadhutweets) 11 September 2019
As James's backup or to make James as backup?
— Adri (@adrizamri) 11 September 2019
He’ll certainly compete with James better as Azpi is no competition and they’d both be young enough to keep improving together
— RobSayer (@RobxSayer) 11 September 2019
The poor form of Cesar Azpilicueta would suggest that Chelsea would be in the market for another right-back next summer, but manager Frank Lampard would be hesitant to block Reece James’s path to the first team.
James has not featured so far this season as he is continuing his recovery from an operation last month on damaged ankle ligaments. The right-back is not believed to be far away from making his comeback though and could be back in full training before the end of this month.