Chelsea break £200m January spend with Malo Gusto signing

Earlier today, Chelsea Football Club confirmed the signing of Lyon right-back Malo Gusto for £26.3million, with the 19-year-old spending the rest of the season back in France on loan. Gusto becomes the latest Chelsea arrival, on a seven-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge, and will end 2022/23 with his former club, for whom he has made 15 Ligue 1 appearances this season.

Following on from Noni Madueke’s arrival in West London last week, Chelsea’s January spending has now moved past the £200m mark. Lyon head coach Laurent Blanc had previously said that the board had guaranteed to him that Gusto would stay at the club for the rest of the season, which appears now to be true, as a deal was struck that benefits both parties.

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Lyon had bowed down to the player’s wishes and allowed Chelsea to complete the deal, but retained Gusto’s services for the remainder of this campaign. The Blues were pushing to complete a deal during this window as they were aware other clubs – including Manchester United and Tottenham – maintained a keen interest in the France U21 international.

With Reece James having played just once for Chelsea since 11th October due to a knee injury, with the sole appearance – against Bournemouth last month – seeing him aggravate the issue and return to the side-lines for further rehabilitation, a long-term quality back-up option at that position was considered essential business.

Chelsea have also been determined to sign a midfielder this month, despite already spending almost £500m on new players this season. The Blues have signed 16 players since Todd Boehly’s consortium purchased the club last summer, but remain keen to add to head coach Graham Potter’s squad during the January window. Enzo Fernandez still remains the top target and Chelsea are considering making a new bid for the Benfica and Argentina international, having been rebuffed on multiple occasions earlier in the month.

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