Chelsea decide to loan Reece James back-up for rest of the season after ‘agreeing’ €30m deal

Jason Soutar
Reported Chelsea target Malo Gusto during a match

Chelsea have agreed to sign Lyon right-back Malo Gusto and loan him back to the French club until the end of the season, according to reports.

Gusto has been attracting a lot of interest from the Premier League, with Manchester United also believed to be keen.

The Red Devils were eager to sign a new right-back before Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s recent form.

Diogo Dalot has been the club’s first-choice right-back for a while before an injury allowed Wan-Bissaka back in, with the former Crystal Palace youngster taking his chance.

Chelsea are a little more desperate for a player in that position with Reece James out injured for a lengthy spell for the second time this season.

Cesar Azpilicueta has often played as a right-wing-back under Graham Potter, and is clearly past his best.

A solid back-up for James has been a huge priority for a while now due to the huge drop-off in quality whenever he is absent.

Gusto would be a handy signing given the fact he is only 19 years old and has performed very well in Ligue 1 this term.

After failing to sign the player from Lyon, the French club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas said that stated that Gusto “will continue to play with OL until at least 06/30/23,” and technically, he wasn’t lying.

According to French journalist Fabrice Hawkins, as later confirmed by David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea and Lyon have reached an agreement to sign the player.

Gusto will join up with his new teammates in the summer with the transfer agreement seeing the teenage defender stay with Lyon on loan until the end of the season.

Romano added that the “only way” Chelsea could have agreed a deal is if it became official in the summer.

The transfer expert added that the fee is in excess of €30million (£26.3m).

Ornstein says that the fee is in fact “€30m plus add-ons”.

Gusto will become Chelsea’s seventh signing of the summer, following the likes of Mykhaylo Mudryk and Joao Felix to Stamford Bridge.

Despite the amount of money they have spent, co-owner Todd Boehly has not brought in a new midfielder despite the fact this should be a huge priority.

The Blues have been strongly linked with Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez, though the Portuguese club want his €120m release clause paid in full.

After failed negotiations to sign the Argentina midfielder, Chelsea have reportedly reignited their interest.

Benfica’s stance remains the same, however… release clause or nothing.

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