Chelsea stuttered to a 3-3 draw at Zenit St. Petersburg in their final group game of the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. The result meant Thomas Tuchel's men ceded top spot in Group H to Juventus, who beat Malmo at home in the other group game on the night.
On that note, here's a look at the key Chelsea transfer stories as on 9th December 2021.
Ronald Araujo eager to join Chelsea
Ronald Araujo is eager to join Chelsea, according to The Hard Tackle via El Nacional. The Uruguayan has evolved into a reliable centre-back since joining Barcelona in 2018. The Blues have been impressed with his recent performances, and want to add the 22-year-old to their roster.
Araujo became a first-team regular last season, and has gone from strength to strength since then. His current deal expires in 2023, but talks of an extension have not been fruitful so far due to the player's wage demands. Chelsea are monitoring the situation with interest.
The Blues want a new defender next year to address their defensive conundrum. Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta are all in the final year of their respective contracts. The Blues are working to tie them down to new deals, but keeping all four at the club could be a tough ask.
Chelsea have turned to Araujo to address the issue. The 22-year-old wants €6 million a year in wages, which Barcelona are unable to offer, but that amount should not be a problem for The Blues. Manager Thomas Tuchel has already sanctioned a move for the Uruguayan, who will cost around €40 million.
Atletico Madrid join race for Cesar Azpilicueta
Atletico Madrid have joined the race to sign Cesar Azpilicueta, according to Eurosport. The Spanish defender is tipped to leave Chelsea next year when his current contract expires. The Blues have their full attention on Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, and have not offered Azpilicueta a new deal yet.
The Spaniard is already wanted by Barcelona. However, the Blaugrana could face competition from Atletico Madrid, who have now entered the race for Azpilicueta. Los Colchoneros have identified the 32-year-old as a possible replacement for Kieran Trippier.
Azpilicueta's versatility could also entice Atletico manager Diego Simeone, as the Chelsea man can play in multiple positions across the backline.
Chelsea will not sign Attila Szalai next year
Chelsea will not sign Attila Szalai next year, according to journalist Matt Law. The Blues have recently been linked with a move for the 23-year-old. The Hungary national team manager Marco Rossi recently added to speculation by claiming Szalai is on his way to Stamford Bridge.
However, Law has refuted those claims via Twitter.
"Chelsea do not have a deal agreed to sign Attila Szalai in January or the summer – despite what the Hungarian coach might think. Told he’s not currently a player of interest to #cfc,” wrote Law.