Report: Chelsea want to sign 'important' £18m star on loan in January, but there could be a problem

Chelsea might struggle to sign Lucas Digne in the upcoming transfer window due to the apparent interest from Newcastle United.

According to ESPN, the race for Everton’s out of favour defender now has a new member in the form of the Magpies.

Why do Chelsea and Newcastle want Digne?

Newcastle are reportedly keen on signing the Frenchman permanently as part of their potentially lavish spending spree next month.

This would suit Everton’s requirements far greater than what Chelsea intend to propose.

The Blues have their eye on landing Digne on loan until the end of the season, due to their current defensive situation.

Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Ben Chilwell’s cruciate interior ligament injury will keep him out for the campaign’s entirety, meaning Marcos Alonso is the only recognised left wing-back at the club.

Add to that the possible long-term absence of Reece James, Thomas Tuchel is looking at something of a crisis in his full-back department.

Hence the desire to raid Goodison Park for their left-back, whose relationship with manager Rafa Benitez has taken a serious turn for the worse.

Everton envy

Benitez dropped Digne for the two games prior to the Toffees’ trip to Stamford Bridge earlier in December.

The £18m (BBC) signing from Barcelona was meant to face Chelsea, but declared himself unavailable for the contest just 24 hours before.

Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

“Lucas Digne is a good player, he was an important player for us and yesterday we did a training session and he was in the 11 starters,” said the Everton boss.

“Today, he said he is ill and not available for tomorrow.”

This saga has not helped quell the rumours of an exit from Merseyside for the 28-year-old.

Chelsea and Newcastle clearly want to take advantage of this delicate situation, yet only one will be able to meet Everton’s demands.

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"Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produced 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. Nathaniel is a full-time writer for the Chelsea Chronicle, and was formerly their social media man. His footballing career reached the sparkling heights of winning the Under-13s Bloxham Tournament in 2011."