Chelsea have agreed to pay £26.3m plus add-ons for the services of 19-year-old Malo Gusto; Earlier this month, Lyon head coach Laurent Blanc said that the board had guaranteed to him that Gusto would stay at the club for the rest of the season
Sunday 29 January 2023 19:04, UK
Chelsea have signed Lyon right-back Malo Gusto for £26.3m, with the 19-year-old spending the rest of the season back in France on loan.
Gusto becomes the latest Chelsea arrival, on a seven-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge, and will end 2022/23 with his former club, for whom he has made 15 Ligue 1 appearances this season.
His signing takes Chelsea's January spending past the £200m mark, following on from Noni Madueke's arrival in West London last week.
Lyon head coach Laurent Blanc had previously said that the board had guaranteed to him that Gusto would stay at the club for the rest of the season.
"The board have guaranteed to me that (Rayan) Cherki and Malo Gusto will be here until the end of the season," Blanc told reporters on Friday.
The statement echoed the thoughts of president Jean-Michel Aulas Aulas who took to social media and declared Gusto would continue with the French giants beyond this transfer window.
But it appears the club has bowed down to the player's wishes and while Chelsea have completed the deal, Gusto will now be loaned back to Lyon for the remainder of this campaign.
Chelsea wanted a deal now as they are aware other clubs - including Manchester United and Tottenham - are interested in the France U21 international.
Reece James has played just once for Chelsea since October 11 due to a knee injury, with the sole appearance - against Bournemouth last month - seeing him aggravate the issue and return to the sidelines.
The England international also missed several months of the 2021/22 season with a hamstring injury.
Chelsea have been determined to sign a midfielder and right-back this month, despite already spending almost £500m on new players this season.
The Blues have signed 16 players since Todd Boehly's consortium purchased the club last summer, but remain keen to add to head coach Graham Potter's squad during the January window.
Enzo Fernandez is still a target and Chelsea are considering making a new bid for the Benfica and Argentina midfielder.
Chelsea's January spending has risen to £216m now the Gusto signing has been completed.
Here are the deals the Blues have made:
Chelsea have now spent around £485m since Todd Boehly became the new owner of the club, having spent £270m in the summer transfer window.
Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window closes at 11pm on Tuesday January 31, 2023.
Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.