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Chelsea plot £7.2m January bid for no-nonsense centre-back

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is readying a £7.2m bid for Marseille defender Nicolas Nkoulou according to L’Equipe via the Daily Star.

Mourinho has seen his Stamford Bridge side struggle defensively this season and has chopped and changed things at the back, with John Terry having sat out recent fixtures to make way for a new central-defensive pairing of Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma.

The Blues have conceded 14 goals in their opening seven Premier League fixtures, and only bottom-of-the-table Sunderland have conceded more. It’s easy to see why Mourinho would have to consider the possibility of bringing in further strength in depth when the transfer window reopens.

Nkoulou is a no-nonsense performer who has impressed over the course of his four years at Marseille, having spent the previous three years at AS Monaco, and is also capable of filling in as a defensive midfielder if necessary.

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The addition of the 25-year-old Cameroon international would offer Mourinho a long-term alternative to John Terry and is sufficiently younger than the likes of Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic to be a valuable addition to the Blues’ squad for many years to come. The fee quoted by this source is a very reasonable one give Nkoulou’s experience and ability.

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