EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Chelsea to get help from Strasbourg in pursuing Valentin Barco

Graham Potter

RC Strasbourg reportedly has a substantial £22 million January transfer budget to sign players, and one of their targets is Valentin Barco. He is also of interest to Chelsea. The 19-year-old, currently with Boca Juniors, could potentially make a move this winter. Meanwhile, RC Strasbourg is positioning itself as a club that offers a pathway into Mauricio Pochettino’s first team at Stamford Bridge for the young talent.

Strasbourg are one of the clubs to join Chelsea in Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s model of a multi-club. With a substantial transfer budget, Strasbourg has the mandate to sign Under-23 players, including targets like Valentin Barco. Manchester City and Brighton are reportedly also pursuing Barco for their own multi-club operations.

Valentin Barco is a highly regarded Argentina youth international. He received the approval of Chelsea’s chief scout in South America, Alysson Marins. Known for his versatility, Barco is capable of playing in various positions on the left side of the field.

Chelsea sporting directors, Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart will exert some influence over the decisions made at Strasbourg. Thus, ensuring that the business operations are within Chelsea’s overall strategy and thinking.

Chelsea to face hurdles while Vieira to get backing from Strasbourg

Manager Patrick Vieira will reportedly receive support for further signings to strengthen his team at Strasbourg. They are currently in the ninth position in the Ligue 1 table. Strasbourg will have more flexibility in the January transfer window than Chelsea, as they are under less Financial Fair Play (FFP) pressure.

Chelsea will face limitations in the January transfer window due to historical spending, having expended £1 billion over the last three transfer windows. This is despite the club raising nearly £400 million in player sales during the last summer transfer window.

Players such as Trevoh Chalobah and Ian Maatsen are reportedly among those who might be out from Chelsea to make room for new signings. Conor Gallagher’s future at the club is also uncertain. Chelsea is said to be eyeing potential reinforcements in forward positions. With names like Brentford’s Ivan Toney, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Sporting’s Viktor Gyokeres, and Club Brugge’s Antonio Nusa on their radar. Additionally, the club is seeking a central defender, with Ousmane Diomande from Sporting.

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