Chelsea confirm the signing Malang Sarr on a five-year deal after his contract with Nice expired but are expected to immediately send the France Under-21 international out on loan.
The 21-year-old complete his medical this week ahead of his move to west London, meaning Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke and unnamed Italian clubs will miss out on the central defender.
Sarr becomes manager Frank Lampard’s fourth acquisition for the senior side in what has been a frantic transfer window so far.
Sarr, 21, has put pen to paper on a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge though could be set to head to Bayer Leverkusen, in a loan switch will would look to help secure the signature of Kai Havertz for the Blues.
The youngster made 119 appearances for Nice, the France Under-21 international scored three goals before winding down his contract and leaving the club to join Chelsea on a free transfer.
On signing Sarr, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: ‘The opportunity to sign Malang was one we could not miss.
‘He is a tremendous prospect and we will be monitoring him closely during his loan period, hoping he will soon be back at Chelsea. We are very happy to welcome him to the club today.’
The Blues could complete this summer deals by the end of the week, with Thiago Silva expected to join after leaving Paris Saint-Germain following their 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell has also been given the all-clear to complete a move to Stamford Bridge after medical tests eased concerns around his current heel injury. Chelsea paid £50 million ($66m) for the full-back.
In addition, the Blues have made a breakthrough in talks for Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, with Frank Lampard’s side having agreed to pay the German side’s full asking price of £90m ($118m), though negotiations are still ongoing regarding payment in instalments.
The attacking midfielder will cost an initial £72m ($95m) with a further £18m ($24m) coming in team performance-related add-ons, while Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have already finalised moves to the Premier League club.
With so many incomings, Chelsea are looking to get players out ahead of the new season and Inter are in talks for Emerson Palmieri after the Blues set a £26m ($34m) asking price.
Furthermore, a host of loanees are currently training under Lampard at Cobham but are expected to seal temporary moves elsewhere, with Marc Guehi set to re-sign with Swansea City after travelling to complete the move on Wednesday.
Jake Clarke-Salter looks set for another loan in the Championship, with Derby County, Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday showing an interest in him.
Alongside that, West Brom could be another option as Chelsea assess which club would be best for his development following a good year at Birmingham last season.
Injury-hit defender Baba Rahman is currently fit and targeting another loan. However, a permanent move away isn’t off the table in his case, with clubs in Germany considering giving him a chance to rebuild his career.
Matt Miazga is gaining interest from a host of different leagues and looks set for another loan away, while Nathan Baxter and Dujon Sterling are also picking up offers.Article continues below
Conor Gallagher and Ethan Ampadu are among those training at Cobham under Lampard in a bid to impress their manager, but could well end up on loan as new signings reduce the space in the squad.
Chelsea are in advanced talks with AC Milan about sending Tiemoue Bakayoko out on loan again but are keen to turn an option to buy into an obligation to buy at around £20m ($26m).
Meanwhile, Rennes have offered Fikayo Tomori a loan move, with Everton still tracking the homegrown defender who broke through last season.