According to the Daily Express, Chelsea are set to beat Premier League rivals Arsenal and Liverpool to the signing of Monaco winger Thomas Lemar in a mooted deal worth £80million.
The Blues are reportedly ready to offer Belgium international striker Michy Batshuayi as part of any prospective deal. The former Marseille striker has struggled to nail a first-team starting spot at Stamford Bridge.
He has started just two Premier League games this season. However, his goals to minutes ratio remains high, as he has a record of a goal every 67 minutes in the English top-flight.
Lemar is one of the most highly rated young players in European football. Both Liverpool and Arsenal have seen bids rejected in the past for the winger.
In fact, the French international looked set to join Arsenal on deadline day. However, a £90million move failed to materialise and led to Alexis Sanchez’s big money move to Manchester City collapsing.
Liverpool also saw two bids rejected for the Frenchman last summer, as Reds boss Jurgen Klopp looked to add to his vast array of attacking players at Anfield.
Reigning champions Chelsea are trailing the league leaders Manchester City by 14 points in the race for the title this season. Blues boss Antonio Conte is looking to strengthen his squad in the January window and Lemar now looks to be a viable option.
Chelsea’s former director of football Michael Emenalo is currently working at Monaco and is believed to be behind the deal. Batshuayi has proven his goalscoring credentials in Ligue One with Marseille, where he made his name.
A return to France and the prospect of regular first-team football may appeal to the striker, with the World Cup on the horizon. Batshuayi’s place in the Red Devils squad may be under threat if he is not playing on a regular basis.
Will Chelsea sign Thomas Lemar in January?