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Chelsea Transfer News: Mehdi Benatia Deadline Emerges, Josh McEachran Deal Done

AS Roma's Mehdi Benatia celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and Bologna at Rome's Olympic stadium, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2014

Chelsea have been given a specific date by which a deal for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia must be completed, while aspiring Blues star Josh McEachran is farmed out on loan to Vitesse Arnhem.

Jose Mourinho has added talent in all areas of his squad this summer, but if Benatia is to become a part of the west Londoners' cause, he has to sign by the end of the week, according to the Mirror's Neil McLeman.

ROME, ITALY - DECEMBER 22:  Mehdi Benatia of AS Roma celebrates after scoring the third team's goal during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Calcio Catania at Stadio Olimpico on December 22, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Along with Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are reported to hold an interest in the centre-back, but Enrico Passarella of GianlucaDiMarzio.com says no offers have been made as of yet.

Pete Hall of Sky Sports says that due to the competition for his signature, any club that signs Benatia will be doing so with an inflated figure attached to his transfer:

And with the 2014-15 Serie A season set to begin in just over a week's time, Roma chief executive Italo Zanzi is quoted by Football Italia in giving a somewhat ambiguous view on Benatia's chances of leaving:

Mehdi is our player. According to some media sources he had already been sold, but instead he is training with us in a very professional manner. It’s a shame about all these rumours. He is a great person and is behaving in the best possible way.

The transfer market is dynamic, as until September 1 we will evaluate every opportunity and ensure we are ready.

Mourinho already has a fine selection of central defenders at his disposal, but John Terry's one-year deal will expire at the end of this season, and it's foreseeable that the club should seek a replacement.

Along with the English stalwart, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma, Branislav Ivanovic, Andreas Christensen and Nathan Ake will look to ensure David Luiz's £50 million move to Paris Saint-Germain doesn't have a damaging effect at Chelsea.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 10:  Joshua McEachran (C) of Chelsea in action against Larnell Cole of Manchester United during the FA Youth Cup sponsored by E.on semi final first leg match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on April 10, 201
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

In terms of outbound talent, McEachran won't be contending for a first-team place at Stamford Bridge this season upon completing a loan switch to Eredivisie giants Vitesse Arnhem.

Chelsea confirmed the news through the official club website, wishing the youth product well as he gets another chance at first-team minutes.

AUBAGNE, FRANCE - MAY 28:  Josh McEachran of England prepares to warm up during the Toulon Tournament Group B match between England and South Korea at the Stade De Lattre on May 28, 2014 in Aubagne, France.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Vitesse are the fifth club McEachran has joined on temporary terms in the past four seasons, the youngster still failing to make any genuine surge into the Blues' senior ranks.

Some might be tempted to blame Chelsea for that state of perpetual loan time, but Martin Lipton argues that perhaps McEachran's lack of prominence is in some way his own fault:

Previous spells with Swansea City, Middlesbrough, Watford and Wigan Athletic have all shown signs of promise, with Chelsea clearly still hoping that experience will give the playmaker the tools he needs to succeed.

That being said, his first experience abroad may yield benefits previously unknown to the player, with McEachran hoping to return to the English capital as a much-improved asset.

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