Report: Chelsea agree fee to sign 'fast and strong' international

Chelsea have reportedly negotiated a fee to recruit Fenerbahce’s towering defender Attila Szalai.

This is according to Turkish news outlet CNN Turk, who claim the Blues have reached an agreement with Fenerbahce over the transfer of their Hungarian international.

CNN Turk claim Szalai will join the Champions League holders for €23.4m on a six-year deal, earning €4m per year.

Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Rudiger situation

This possible move has not been officially confirmed by either party, but it hints towards Chelsea’s outlook on the future.

Szalai is a left-footed centre-back, who plays in a back three for both club and country.

The Blues are potentially about to lose their left-sided defensive brick in the form of Antonio Rudiger, whose contract expires next summer.

Understandably, the preference of the Stamford Bridge hierarchy would be to resolve Rudiger’s issue and extend his stay a little longer.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

But in the extremely likely scenario that doesn’t happen, they need a contingency plan.  

Szalai solution

That may well arrive in the sizeable frame of Szalai, who stands at a giant 6ft 3inches.

Extremely hard to miss from a distance, the 23-year-old also lets opponents wary of his presence from close up.

Just ask Harry Kane, who was manhandled by the centre-half during England’s recent World Cup qualifying clash with Hungary at Wembley.

Photo by Catherine Ivill – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Despite his size, the Fenerbahce also has a turn of pace.

“I think his best trait is that he is really fast and strong,” said Petros Konnafis, the man who signed Szalai at Apollon Limassol.

“He’s still young and he needs maybe a bit more experience to read the game better so he makes better decisions but he’s already improved a lot.”

Chelsea fans might see if Szalai is the real deal before too long

 Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.