Chelsea have free run at signing Lucas Digne thanks to Everton star’s stance on Newcastle

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Chelsea have a free run at Everton left-back Lucas Digne this month, with the Spaniard expected to snub Newcastle United. Digne will leave Goodison Park before the January transfer deadline after falling out of favour with Rafa Benitez, and there is Premier League interest in his services.

The 28-year-old hasn’t featured for Everton since the 4-1 Merseyside derby home humiliation against Liverpool on December 1.

His future became clear after Benitez sanctioned the £17million signing of Dynamo Kyiv left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko on the first day of the transfer window.

But despite being isolated at Everton, Digne isn’t short of options that currently pose as upgrades in terms of Premier League positioning.

He has been linked with Chelsea, Newcastle, and West Ham United, and the former could be in pole position.

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On Wednesday night, Sky Sports reported that Newcastle had submitted a £22.5m bid plus Sean Longstaff for Digne’s services.

However, the set-piece specialist has indicated he would prefer another destination amid interest from the capital.

And according to Fabrizio Romano, Digne will undoubtedly leave Everton this month, but there is no chance he will arrive at St. James’ Park.

Chelsea are ‘taking time’ to decide on their left-back plan but have been interested in his situation for weeks.

Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel will want reinforcements at left-back, with Marcos Alonso currently his only natural first-team option.

Ben Chilwell could be sidelined for the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, so Tuchel is short on personnel.

He has trialled underwhelming loanee Saul Niguez in the position, as well as Reece James, but a left-footer who can naturally maraud the flank is crucial to the German’s system.

Digne’s Chelsea arrival would prompt questions over who would regularly start after Chilwell returns to action, but with Alonso now 31, he could potentially act as his replacement beyond the summer.

Despite Chelsea’s links to Digne, Tuchel admitted the club had no January transfer plans in December.

He said: “We are not in talks right now that we bring in players.

“Because first of all, we trust our squad and hope that we can bring all our players back and be in full strength.

“Then we have a strong squad and a good atmosphere to protect. This is where we are right now.”

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