€20m Chelsea linked defender: ‘Interest is nice but I won’t be leaving in winter’

Highly-rated Nantes defender Papy Dijlobodji looks set to stay at Nantes until at least the summer.

According to reports in French newspaper Le Parisien the highly-rated 25-year-old defender has been the subject of enquiries from both Chelsea and Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund over the past couple of weeks.

The 6ft 4inch central defender has been a colossal figure at the heart of Ligue 1 side Nantes this season, helping the newly-promoted side to nine clean sheets in 20 league matches – putting The Canaries on the fringes of the European places.

The Senegalese international has impressed all season, with coaches, journalists and pundits alike dubbing the centre back ‘one of the best defenders in France’. The Nantes directors have taken the interest on board and slapped a €20m price tag on their star defender, in an effort to fend off potential offers during the January transfer window.

Whilst Nantes are enjoying an excellent season on their return to the French top flight, the gap between themselves and Champions League contenders PSG, Monaco and Lille appears to be a bridge too far. Dijlobodji is an ambitious player who recently commented on his desire to play at the very top

He said: "I want to play in big clubs competing in the Champions League and win it. The road is still long but I work every day to make that happen."

Dijlobodji’s comments don’t bode too well for Nantes’ future chances of holding on to the player, whereas Chelsea and Dortmund will look to take advantage of the defender’s ambitions. With the futures of John Terry and David Luiz not resolved, Jose Mourinho will be interested in bringing someone in to fill that long-term centre back role alongside Gary Cahill.

Good news for Nantes however is that despite admitting the interest is nice, the GetFootballFrance have reported that Papy Dijlobodji has expressed his loyalty to The Canaries and has ruled out a leaving the club this January:

"It is nice to know that I am interesting clubs, but I would prefer to remain concentrated on the pitch and on my performances.

"It is my agent who deals with any approaches. I am under contract with FC Nantes, and I feel good here. I will not be leaving Nantes this winter."

image: © Jason Bagley

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