Monaco’s Fodé Ballo-Touré has become the latest left-back linked with a move to Chelsea, as Frank Lampard searches for a solution for a long-term problem position.
The 23-year-old has drawn high-profile interest from across Europe since he joined the municipality club from Lille in the 2019 January transfer window.
It is the athleticism and dynamism that Ballo-Touré brings to the full-back role that have brought him to the attention of a number of top clubs. Before the suspension of football, the Paris Saint-Germain academy graduate had already clocked up 25 appearances in all competition this season.
According to Foot Mercato, Chelsea are leading the pursuit of Ballo-Touré – the latest of a string of left-backs the Blues have been linked with of late. Alex Telles, Ben Chilwell and Nicolas Tagliafico have all been mooted as potential targets in recent months, as Chelsea look for an upgrade on both Marcos Alonso and Emerson.
The club has failed to properly replace the excellent services of Ashley Cole since the 107-cap Englishman left for Roma in 2014.
However, RB Leipzig and Schalke 04 are also thought to be interested in snapping up former France youth international Ballo-Touré. Leipzig have had Manchester City’s Angeliño on loan this season, but the Premier League side have fixed an option to buy price at €30m – a figure that is unlikely to tempt Leipzig.
Despite his tender age, Ballo-Touré has a good grounding in football in Europe’s top five leagues now, having already played 84 matches in Ligue 1 either for Lille or Monaco.
Chelsea may be stood in good stead to complete the deal, with Lampard’s policy of youth meaning Ballo-Touré will likely be offered regular game time, and there’s the obvious draw of Champions League football should the Blues complete the job whenever the season resumes.
Meanwhile, Germany international Marcel Halstenberg is Leipzig’s regular starter on the left, so the path to the first team at the Red Bull Arena is far less clear than it would be in west London.