Chelsea approach Strasbourg over January transfer move for Mohamed Simakan

Strasbourg defender Mohamed Simakan is firmly on Chelsea’s radar (Picture: Getty)Chelsea have reportedly made contact with Strasbourg over a January move for Mohamed Simakan, with Frank Lampard scouring the market for Thiago Silva’s long-term replacement.

Silva has impressed at the heart of Chelsea’s defence since arriving in the summer – and is set to be offered a one-year extension at Stamford Bridge – but Lampard is planning for the future, given the veteran Brazilian recently turned 36.

According to Le 10 Sport, the Blues have ‘positioned themselves’ to sign Strasbourg’s Simakan, 20, who has established himself as one of the finest young centre-backs in Ligue 1 over the last two seasons.

Chelsea are already planning for life without Silva (Picture: Getty)The report claims both Chelsea and Nice have approached Strasbourg chiefs over a potential transfer this winter but neither club has made an offer for the France Under-20 international as it stands.

AC Milan remain interested in Simakan after having a €14million (£12.5m) bid rejected for the promising centre-half in the summer.

It’s understood Strasbourg are holding out for an offer of at least €15m (£13.5m) for their prized possession.

Lampard has been blown away by the impact Silva has made this season (Picture: Getty)There has been no indication that Chelsea’s search for a central defender will have any bearing on the club’s plans to offer Silva an extension on his stay in west London.

Chelsea head coach Lampard recently admitted he was ‘a bit tentative’ about signing Silva but has been blown away by the Brazil international’s outstanding start at Stamford Bridge.

Asked whether Silva had performed even better than he expected, Lampard told Sky Sports: ‘I think so. I remember playing in the Premier League at 36 and I couldn’t play like he’s playing, week in week out. 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. 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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