According to reports in the Daily Mail, Chelsea are ready to go head-to-head with Premier League rivals Manchester United in the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain right-back Serge Aurier, whose strength and power mean he has similar qualities to those of former Blues star Branislav Ivanovic.
Well, the Daily Mail says that Blues boss Antonio Conte is desperate to further strengthen his squad before the summer transfer window slams shut at the end of this month and the Premier League holders are confident of landing four more signings.
The Daily Mail says that the wing-back positions are a priority for Conte as they little competition for the likes of Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses in what is going to be a fixture-heavy season following the club’s return to the group stages of the Champions League.
The report adds that the Italian’s attempts to bring in Danilo and Benjamin Mendy were thwarted as the duo chose to join Manchester City, while he is losing hope of signing Juventus left-back Alex Sandro.
Now the Daily Mail says that Chelsea have switched their attentions to Red Devils target Aurier, who is available for around £27m.
The Ivory Coast international made 32 appearances in all competitions for PSG last term, providing five assists for his teammates.
The 24-year-old made his name for his country with some explosive performances for his country at right-back during the 2014 World Cup, but he has sometimes struggled to match those showings during his time in the French capital following a move from Toulouse.
He has also had problems off the pitch too and he was suspended in 2016 after making insulting comments towards former PSG manager Laurent Blanc, while he was refused entry to England for his side’s Champions League clash with Arsenal last season after he had been previously accused of assaulting a police officer.
Although he has played as a right-back for PSG, Aurier has all of the ingredients to slot into the right wing-back role and he has experience of playing in the Champions League.
As long as he continues to mature on and off the pitch he could prove to be an important addition, while the 24-year-old is also able to cover the left-hand side if required.
However, the Blues face strong competition for the Ivorian from United, who have already beaten them to the signing of Romelu Lukaku this summer.