Chelsea to challenge Arsenal for defender’s signature.
CHELSEA are bidding to beat Arsenal to the signature of Montpellier star Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was thought to be leading the race to sign the highly-rated defender.
But Chelsea now appear keen to land the 23-year-old, at the expense of their London rivals.
According to French TV channel Canal+, representatives of the Stamford Bridge club were present to watch Yanga-Mbiwa during his side’s win over AC Ajaccio on Saturday night.
And Chelsea could view the France international as an ideal long-term replacement for current captain John Terry.
SOURCE: Daily Star
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has attracted plenty of attention from the Premier League since starring in Montpellier’s Ligue 1 title-winning side last season, with Chelsea reportedly ready to challenge Arsenal for the France international.
If the London rivals go head-to-head in a January bidding war, it’ll be increasingly hard for the French outfit to prevent another star leaving the Stade de la Mosson.
The 23-year-old is most commonly used as a centre-back by boss Rene Girard’s but Yanga-Mbiwa is comfortable playing anywhere across the back four.
With Roman Abramovic systematically ridding Chelsea of all over 30s, John Terry could well follow Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole (both likely to leave Stamford Bridge in January) out of the club in the next 18 months and a replacement may well be needed.
While Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic are fine centre-backs, doubts remain about the erratic David Luiz, while Ivanovic is often required to cover at full-back.
If whoever is advising Abramovic has been sufficiently impressed with Yanga-Mbiwa then the West Londoners certainly have the cash to lure the Frenchman to London, although the prospect of working with Arsene Wenger and former teammate Olivier Giroud may yet make the Emirates a more attractive option for the talented stopper.
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