Chelsea scouting £26m-rated Musacchio

According to reports from TransferMarketWeb, Chelsea are scouting Villarreal centre-back Mateo Musacchio.

What’s the word?

There’s only one subject on the lips of Chelsea rumour mongerers at the moment – defensive reinforcements for the January transfer window. Indeed, the Blues have already conceded nine Premier League goals this season, averaging out at 1.2-per-match, and Antonio Conte’s decision to switch to a back three against Hull City last Saturday, inspiring a 2-0 win at the KCOM Stadium, has only further added to speculation of defenders arriving at Stamford Bridge in the new year.

Whilst a number of British sources, such as The Express, have ran with Il Messaggero‘s update on Chelsea’s pursuit of Stefan de Vrij, a rival report from the Italian press has caught our attention. Indeed, TransferMarketWeb claim Chelsea have been scouting Villarreal centre-half Mateo Musacchio, who they rate at £26million.

Liverpool v Villarreal - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Second Leg

He sounds familiar?

Those with their ears to the ground when it comes to Premier League transfer rumours might remember Musacchio from summer 2014 – when he was strongly linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur. However, the Lilywhites failed to agree terms with Villarreal and the Argentine and eventually signed Sevilla skipper Federico Fazio instead. Arsenal, meanwhile, moved for Musacchio’s centre-back partner Gabriel Paulista in the subsequent January transfer window.

What would he add to Chelsea’s defence?

Villarreal were famed for their high defensive line during Gabriel and Musacchio’s partnership (although the now-Gunners star shared game-time with Jose Dorado), largely due to their shared combination of aggression and speed – helping the Yellow Submarines claim the second-best goals conceded record outside of the top four during the 2013/14 season.

A speedy defence isn’t exactly Antonio Conte’s style but the Argentina international’s relative pace makes him a suitable candidate for the outside centre-back positions in the kind of three-man line utilised against Hull City last weekend. He’s also solid on the ball, if not a little slight for the Premier League.

Here’s a look at the 26-year-old in action: