Chelsea pursuing January transfer to secure long-term Thiago Silva replacement

Chelsea: What's going wrong for Lampard and the Blues?

Chelsea are weighing up a January move for Strasbourg defender Mohamed Simakan, according to reports. The 20-year-old has impressed for the French outfit this season, starting every game in Ligue 1 and helping his side earn four valuable clean sheets in their battle for top flight survival.

Italian giants AC Milan have been linked with the young central defender in recent months, but it seems as if they will face strong competition from the Blues with regards to capturing his signature.

According to French outlet Le 10 Sport, Chelsea have already contacted Strasbourg about the possibility of a January deal, along with fellow Ligue 1 side Nice.

However, neither club is said to have made a concrete offer as of yet, with Simakan’s current employers determined to hold out for a fee of at least £13.5million in order to part ways with their star man.

Milan also remain interested, but it remains to be seen whether they will attempt to sign the defender next month having seen a bid in the region of £12.5m turned down over the summer.

If Chelsea can land Simakan next month or at the end of the season, it could represent a huge coup for boss Frank Lampard in securing a long-term replacement for 36-year-old Thiago Silva.

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The Brazilian centre-back joined the Blues on a free transfer during pre-season and has looked comfortable at the back for the vast majority of his short career in west London.

The club are reportedly aiming to extend Silva’s one-year deal, a decision which is unlikely to be affected by the potential signing of Simakan.

Lampard revealed earlier in December that he initially had reservations about bringing the veteran defender to Stamford Bridge, but praised the impact that he has made in such a short space of time.

“I remember playing in the Premier League at 36 and I couldn’t play like he’s playing, week in week out,” Lampard told Sky Sports.

“I was in and out of the team and I could feel it at that stage of my career. So what I’ll say is I probably was a bit tentative [about signing Silva].

“I knew he was a top player, had been a great player for a long time, but the pressures of the Premier League when you’ve never played there, he’d played in France for a long time – no disrespect. But yeah, he probably has exceeded it slightly and really I shouldn’t have been surprised.

“Working with him now I can see the quality, the preparation, the reading of the game, the desire to win headers and compete with anyone he plays against.

“He’s really studious about the game as well, he’s clearly going to be a manager or whatever he wants to be after the game. He’s been a great addition for us on and off the pitch.”

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