Chelsea have an agreement to sign AS Monaco’s central defender Benoit Badiashile, according to reports.
The 21-year-old French defender has been linked to top European sides as well as Manchester United since he established himself with the Ligue 1 side.
However it is Chelsea who have won the race for his services, claims The Athletic’s David Ornstein.
The transfer is said to be worth £32.8-£33.7 million, or between 37-38m euros.
The club have agreed personal terms with the player and he is set to have a medical before the transfer is completed.
Chelsea have been in the market for a left-sided central defender since the summer under former manager Thomas Tuchel, who was then replaced by Graham Potter after the start of the season in new owner Todd Boehly’s first managerial appointment.
RB Leipzig’s 20-year-old Croatian international defender Josko Gvardiol had been a target but the Londoners could not agree terms with the Bundesliga side.
Other players under consideration include Eintracht Frankfurt’s 23-year-old Evan N’Dicka and Bayer Leverkusen’s 20-year-old Piero Hincapie.
Chelsea were short of options in defence after Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Marco Alonso all departed for Spain in the summer, and Thiago Silva is unlikely to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season, given he is 38. Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella were all brought in last summer.
Benoit has 135 appearances for Monaco after breaking into the first team five years ago, as well as a handful of appearances for the Monegasque side’s B team, and has two caps for the French national team so far.
Chelsea are also believed to be in talks with Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez, 21, who has a £106m release clause, though Chelsea may also turn to the more affordable Argentine international Alexis Mac Allister at Brighton, though he also has a long-term contract on the south coast.
They may also attempt to bring in Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid on loan after he has failed to command a regular place this season under manager Diego Simeone, with Armando Broja suffering a season-ending knee injury, meaning they have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kai Havertz as their two senior options as centre-forwards.