Nice boss Patrick Vieira has insisted that reported Chelsea transfer target Youcef Atal won’t be leaving the club at the end of the season.
As noted by The Telegraph, Chelsea have been linked with the 22-year-old, although it’s noted that he would set them back around €40m as per Nice’s valuation.
Naturally, there is a major obstacle for Chelsea to overcome to make any signings this summer though, and that is their transfer ban from FIFA which they are set to appeal against.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear as though Atal will be going anywhere ahead of next season, as Vieira has insisted that he fully expects his talented ace to remain with the club and continue to develop his game.
“We won’t sell him, he will be here again next year,” he is quoted as saying by Calciomercato. “He’s improving, working a lot, he’s a positive guy. Here he can grow and express himself at his best”.
Atal has made 26 appearances in all competitions so far this season, and he has predominantly been used as a right-back, although he can play further up the field on the right flank to offer versatility.
Cesar Azpilicueta continues to be the first choice in that department at Stamford Bridge currently, but the Blues could perhaps do with additional quality depth to build a squad capable of competing on multiple fronts for major honours.
However, based on the comments above, it doesn’t sound as though Atal will be the solution, and so they will have to look elsewhere to address that area of Maurizio Sarri’s squad.
For now though, they have more important priorities on their mind, most notably the battle to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and to go all the way in the Europa League to make sure that they’re back at Europe’s top table next season.