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Chelsea hoping to navigate around transfer ban to sign Tanguy Ndombélé — report

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Reported price between €70m and €80m

FC Barcelona v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

In the forthcoming summer transfer window, the spotlight will be shining brightly on two of Olympique Lyonnais’ crown jewels, Houssem Aouar and Tanguy Ndombélé — in addition to all their other talented players, such as Nabil Fekir, Ferland Mendy, Memphis Depay, and even Bertrand Traoré. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas isn’t looking for a fire sale, though Ndombélé is one of the more likely players to leave.

“We will only allow one player who has interest to leave. I don’t know which one yet, because I think a lot of them will have interest.”

-Jean-Michel Aulas; source: Telefoot via Yahoo!

A number of European heavyweights are unsurprisingly interested, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Juventus, PSG, and Real Madrid. Juventus in particular, seem to have a head start, as they look to replace Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanić with Aaron Ramsey and Tanguy Ndombélé.

Chelsea were linked with the 22-year-old last summer already, but the midfielder we ended up signing was Jorginho instead (and then Mateo Kovačić on loan). L’Equipe now reports that Chelsea have re-joined the queue, but are a bit behind the others and things are much more complicated now than last year. Apparently Chelsea are hoping to convince the player to agree to potentially delay his move to London for a year pending the outcome of the transfer appeal.

While the report claims that Chelsea are simply asking Ndombélé to wait a year, a much more likely scenario would be a buy-and-loan (back to Lyon or somewhere else) arrangement like Atlético Madrid did with Vitolo in 2017, when they were under a transfer ban (which technically a registration ban).

Ndombélé is a well-rounded, dynamic box-to-box midfielder, compared to the likes of Michael Essien, N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba. Those three players are fairly different, but that just underlines Ndombélé’s ability to play just about any midfield position or role. He’s the sort of player who could find playing time at any club — and finding playing time is a strong consideration as he keeps in mind his Euro 2020 aspirations.

“He’s strong physically and especially technically. Tanguy can leave three players behind with his first touch, and when he sets off, it’s hard to stop him. He’s precise in his passing, good at dribbling and is very intelligent.

”I don’t like comparisons, but, yes, Ndombele could be a new Pogba. Tanguy can play in every midfield role, he’s started to score, but I want him to improve there: He needs to be an eight-10 league goal midfielder.”

-Bruno Génésio, Lyon head coach; source: Tuttosport via Sport Witness

Ndombélé is one of the most highly rated young midfielders in Europe, with the price to match (€70-80m, if not more), and is surely set for a phenomenal career in football, if he keeps progressing at the right rate while keeping his attitude grounded. Let’s hope that happens in the blue colors of Chelsea.