Chelsea’s manager Guus Hiddink wants to shore up his defence in the January transfer window. The Blues’ defence has been uncharacteristically leaky this season and they have already conceded 29 goals this season. Italian newspaper Gazzetta World are reporting that the current Premier League champions are set to make an approach for Marseille defender Nicolas N’Koulou.
The tough-tackling Cameroonian international is in last year of his contract with the French club and will be a free agent in the summer. His contract situation means that he would be available for cheap in January. The 25-year-old has made over 150 appearances for the Ligue 1 club following his move from Marseille in 2011. The defender has reportedly rejected a new contract with the club as he seeks a new challenge away from the French league.
Premier League clubs such as Everton and West Ham are also interested in the player while Serie A club Lazio were the favourites to sign the player before the Blues registered their interest in his services. According to Italian media, Chelsea are now leading the race to sign the player. Marseille would be happy to sell their player at a knock-down price rather than letting him leave on free in the summer.
Manager Guus Hiddink has previously stated his desire to strengthen his defence in the transfer market. He told Sky Sports earlier this week: “It is strange for the club, people are not used to this, you notice that in the people. Now we have to create a stable organisation in and around the team so that the players feel confident.
“You have to give them a stable base on which they can perform, and not get out of confidence when there is a little setback. My teams are always well organised. If you have quality in the team, we try to organise the team defensively very well, so that everybody knows what to do. Everybody has to defend, and have the capacity to build up and attack. We have those players but it has to be based on a very well organised foundation.”