Chelsea have agreed a deal with Lyon to sign right-back Malo Gusto, 90min can confirm.
The Blues have been looking for a right-back all month and eventually set their sights on 19-year-old Gusto, who is in the final 18 months of his contract is France.
An opening bid was lodged by Chelsea but Lyon turned it down and went public with their insistence that Gusto would remain at the club for the remainder of the campaign, leaving the door open to agreeing a deal which would see the defender return to Lyon for the next six months.
Rather than turn away from Gusto and pursue another target, Chelsea have agreed to Lyon’s demands and struck a deal which will see the right-back remain in France on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Chelsea are believed to have agreed to pay an initial €30m to sign Gusto, who has arrived in London for a medical with the Blues ahead of returning to France.
The deal is expected to be confirmed imminently, with Gusto formally being loaned back to Lyon, unlike with RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku, whose transfer to Chelsea has already been agreed but will only go through at the end of the season.
Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!
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Chelsea still have complete faith in their current right-back, Reece James, but have been keen to find some high-level cover for the England international, who has battled a number of injury problems in recent months.
Those in charge at Stamford Bridge had wanted an immediate signing to help cover for James, with Inter’s Denzel Dumfries among those linked with a move, but Chelsea soon settled on Gusto and opted against moving away from their plan.
In the short term, it leaves Chelsea with just James as a natural fit for the wing-back role, with 33-year-old Cesar Azpilicueta more of a traditional right-back.
Elsewhere, Chelsea are set to send young midfielder Cesare Casadei, who joined in an expensive deal from Inter during the summer, on loan to Reading for his first taste of senior football in England.