Chelsea’s transfer target suffers serious knee injury

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Chelsea transfer target Youcef Atal has been ruled out for a long time following a serious knee injury he picked up on Saturday in Nice’s 4-1 victory over Metz.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is keen on signing a new left-back in January. Leicester City Ben Chilwell is Lampard’s first choice left-back signing but Atal was an alternative to Chilwell before his injury on Saturday.

Nice confirmed Atal will need to undergo an operation.

Nice tweeted: “Bad news for Youcef Atal and Les Aiglons. Forced to go off half an hour into the game against Metz this Saturday, the Algerian international has undergone additional examinations.

“The diagnosis revealed a meniscal lesion in the right knee. The 23-year-old, who will be operated on soon, will, unfortunately, be out of action for a long time.

“OGC Nice wishes him a speedy recovery.”

Atal recently admitted that he was looking for a big move after revealing that clubs were after him in the summer.

Atal said: “Yes, there are clubs that wanted me at that time.

“Last year it was too early [for a departure]. And even today, I’m focusing on another great season.

“I can play in a big club, that’s part of my goals. I work for that. There is not a player who will tell you that he would not like to play for a big club.”

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