Chelsea in talks with Josko Gvardiol alternative as Leipzig negotiations slow
Chelsea are in talks with Monaco over a deal for French centre-back Benoit Badiashile, 90min can confirm.
A left-sided centre-back is a top priority for Chelsea and the Blues have been locked in discussions with RB Leipzig over Croatian star Josko Gvardiol since the summer, but his outstanding World Cup has seen the 20-year-old’s stock rise.
With Gvardiol’s asking price flying up and teams from across the globe voicing their interest in the defender, Chelsea’s attempts to strike a quick deal have so far proven fruitless, with the German side happy to wait until the summer to agree to a sale.
Chelsea are looking for immediate help in defence and sources have confirmed to 90min that talks are on with Monaco over a deal for 21-year-old Badiashile.
The France Under-21 international, who has well over 100 appearances for Monaco, has long been watched by a number of sides across Europe and Chelsea were among those to consider a move during the summer.
Now, talks have been held over a move which would see Badiashile move to Chelsea in the January window to offer immediate help to a Blues backline that has kept just four Premier League clean sheets this season.
Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth in the latest episode of Talking Transfers. This week they discuss Man Utd’s ongoing interest in Dutch duo Cody Gakpo and Frenkie de Jong, Josko Gvardiol’s future, Gabriel Martinelli and more! Available on all audio platforms.
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!
Chelsea have already done business with Monaco this season, striking a deal to recruit technical director Laurence Stewart to their new boardroom.
90min understands that Gvardiol remains Chelsea’s top defensive target but Leipzig’s reluctance to agree to a deal in January has forced the Blues to consider alternatives. Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie has also been watched but a winter deal is seen as complicated.
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Arsenal pre-season 2023/24: Fixtures and schedule
Having reached new heights in the Premier League in 2022/23, Arsenal will soon be beginning their preparations for the new campaign with a pre-season tour to get ready for 2023/24.
Preparations for last season took place in Germany for Arsenal but with the Covid-19 pandemic a bit more of a distant memory for many, it is expected that more teams will be heading further afield again to either the United States of America or Asia.
Arsenal are yet to announce a full training camp location for their pre-season but they do have one fixture already confirmed which drops a big clue.
The Gunners are going to be coming up against an MLS All-Star team in Washington D.C. which will be coached by Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney. That takes place on July 19 and it is hard to imagine that Arsenal will only play one game in America.
A semi-regular fixture of Arsenal’s pre-seasons in recent years has been the Emirates Cup, but there has not been any word on whether an edition of that will be taking place or not this summer. If there is, then Arsenal could be splitting their time between America and London.
All times BST.
As is the case for almost every big club in football now, all of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies are expected to be televised live on Arsenal.com and their official app with a subscription.
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