Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj is a serious January target for Chelsea, according to Italian news outlet CalcioMercato.

The Blues are currently in hot water over the handling of transfers for underage players and could face a ban from signing fresh faces from next summer.

If that is the case, it means that Chelsea would look to get some major business done in the winter window, which is not the usual practice for teams competing at the sharp end of the Premier League table.

Manager Maurizio Sarri already bought in Jorginho in July from his former employers in Naples and it seems he could be on the verge of snapping up another big talent from his old club.

Whilst not a typical modern full-back in the attacking sense, Hysaj has proven himself a reliable defensive presence in Serie A since he made his professional debut for Empoli back in 2011.

A player in the mould of current Chelsea hero Cesar Azpilicueta, he can play on both the right and left of the back line and is a solid passer of the ball, something that Sarri values highly in his teams.

Hysaj’s importance to Napoli is reflected in the 50 million (£44.7 million) release clause that the London side are likely to have to activate in order to seal his signature.

Whether they would have to pay the full amount, or could negotiate a reduced fee, remains to be seen.

Football Italia recently reported Hysaj’s agent refusing to rule out a switch to the Blues, so it seems as if this deal could be on the cards.

Sarri’s positive start to life at Chelsea has hit something of a snag in recent weeks, with two league defeats from their last three games.

A lack of goals from the club’s two main strikers, Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud, has become an increasing talking point and is widely seen as an issue that could prevent the team challenging for significant honours this term.


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