Zinedine Zidane wants PSG defender Thomas Meunier as Chelsea look to close Danilo deal

Zinedine Zidane wants PSG defender Thomas Meunier as Chelsea look to close Danilo deal

Chelsea, Real Madrid

Real Madrid now seem set to begin life without Danilo, with reports suggesting that they could turn interest to PSG’s right-back Thomas Meunier as a potential successor to a player who is currently being pursued by Premier League champions Chelsea.

Spanish publication Marca report that Zinedine Zidane will begin searching for a replacement for Danilo, who has severally been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge over recent days as Antonio Conte seeks to further boost his title-winning squad following the additions of Willy Caballero and Antonio Rudiger and the about to happen signing of AS Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.

It is thought that former winger Meunier, who registered 36 appearances for the Ligue 1 side last season after joining from Club Brugge in July 2006, could now be attainable following the wealthy French giants’ success in signing Dani Alves out of the cluthes of Manchester City.

Serge Aurier also remains at the Parc des Princes, although it remains to be seen for how much longer amid apparent interest from both Premier League clubs.

Meunier, a former target of Tottenham Hotspur’s who has previously confessed a desire to play in the Premier League, is currenly recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle undergone in Qatar in May. That injury ruled the Belgian out of the final two matches of the season and was expected to keep him sidelined for between six to eight weeks.

He would compete with Dani Carvajal for a starting role under Zidane as the 12-time Champions League winner seek to defend their La Liga crown and also win the Champions League for a third successive season.

Such a deal would obviously be determined on the future of Danilo. Reports from his hometown earlier this week suggested that Chelsea were closing in on a deal and that the two clubs were expected to settle on a €31m (£27.3m, $35.5m) fee soon. The Brazilian representatives were said to be in Europe to conclude discussions as their client accompanied Real to Los Angeles for their pre-season tour of the United States.

However, it appears that negotiations have hit a snag with the Evening Standard suggesting that Chelsea are not willing to meet the £30.8m asking price. They are apparently only willing to stump up £28m for a player that would challenge Victor Moses for a place in Conte’s successful 3-4-3 system and is believed to be a close friend of another prominent Blues target, Juventus left-back Alex Sandro.

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Donald Stephen

Donald Stephen is a freelance football writer who knows only slightly less about football than you do. A regular contributor to Football Weeks, the Set Pieces, and others. You can connect with us on - Facebook and Twitter

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