Chelsea midfielder could be Di Maria replacement as Blues linked with former Man Utd transfer target

Graham Potter’s side head to Austria to face RB Salzburg in their latest UEFA Champions League fixture tomorrow.
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Chelsea’s next few transfer windows could be amongst their busiest in recent seasons and January is fast approaching for Graham Potter and his team.

The former Brighton boss will take charge of his first window with the Blues and could not only look to bring in some new faces but also move a few current players on. The future of several first team players, including high profile names like N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku (currently on loan at Inter Milan) remain uncertain going into the winter break for the FIFA World Cup. However, the Blues could use the uncertain future of one particular player as a makeweight in a bid to capture a new midfield star, according to reports coming out of Italy.

Calciomercato have said that Adrien Rabiot, who came close to joining Manchester United in the summer, is now wanted by Chelsea and the Blues could pursue a move that would see Hakim Ziyech join Juventus in exchange. The Moroccan has only featured five times in all competitions for the Blues this season and has made just one start. The Italian publication claims that the former Ajax man could be the ‘succesion’ to former Real Madrid, PSG and Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria who is now 34-years old and out of contract this summer.

There may be plenty of competition to land Rabiot though with the report saying that United remain interested in the Frenchman and that Newcastle United could also be considering a move. Meanwhile, a separate report by the same outlet also claims that Chelsea are interested in signing right-back Denzel Dumfries from Inter Milan. The Dutchman has been a standout for club and country in recent seasons. There will be plenty of dialogue in the coming months between the Premier League and Serie A side over the future of Romelu Lukaku.

Back on the pitch, the Chelsea first team are currently in Austria as they prepare for their UEFA Champions League group stage clash with RB Salzburg. Graham Potter’s side can secure their qualification for the Last 16 with a win but could be left in a precarious position going into the final round of matches if they suffer defeat. Their next Premier League fixtures will be on Saturday when they head to Brighton to face their bosses’ old club.