As Chelsea endure a torrid summer with only limited success in the transfer market to date, the Standard say that Antonio Conte and co. are considering moves for Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy and Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand.
Which option is better for Chelsea?
Benjamin Mendy undoubtedly has more of the star factor after his superb form for Monaco as they romped to the Ligue Un title and Champions League semi-final. The 22-year-old also has youth on his side and will only continue to improve.
Mendy is reliable defensively but catches the eye with his attacking contribution, developing a reputation as a good crosser of the ball and excellent and running down the flank. That would fit in perfectly as a wing-back similar to Marcos Alonso.
Bertrand however, can also play at centre-back in a back three. Having played there for a large portion of the season under Claude Puel last season, he could provide an alternative to Gary Cahill. As such, Bertrand may be the better option in terms of providing depth to the Chelsea squad.
The Southampton man is also a strong attacking full-back. The difference between the two is that Bertrand is often most effective when supporting an attacking winger in front of him, whereas Mendy could quite happily patrol up and down the wing on his own.
Which option is more realistic?
Monaco will not be prepared to allow Mendy to leave the club easily. Having already waved goodbye to midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko as he headed to the champions, they could be even more determined to keep hold of their first choice left-back.
That said, he was strongly linked with a move to Manchester City earlier this summer. The Guardian report that the Citizens have recently rejected a £44.5 million bid for the left-back, with an offer close to £50 million required to secure his signature. That may give Chelsea hopes of achieving a deal.
Bertrand would likely be a much cheaper option. Southampton have developed something of a reputation as a selling club and the full-back was believed to be keen on a move earlier this year, according to the Mirror.
However, there may be a degree of embarrassment in paying a huge fee to re-sign Bertrand. Having sold him for just £10 million just before the January transfer window closed in 2015, the Blues may be reluctant to pay over the odds to bring him back to Stamford Bridge.
Do Chelsea need a left-back?
Having missed out on Alex Sandro, they could certainly do with a full-back to compete with Marcos Alonso at left-wing-back. Both players linked are versatile, with Mendy capable of playing in central midfield and Bertrand able to play in central defence. That could encourage a deal this summer.
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