Chelsea finally beat Barcelona to £34m transfer as Todd Boehly delivers critical Liverpool blow


Chelsea fended off big interest from Liverpool and Barcelona to complete the signing of Benoit Badiashile in the January transfer window, understands. The Blues secured a deal worth initially around £34million to sign the 21-year-old in early January in what was their second of eight signings over the month.

Badiashile signed a seven-and-a-half-year contract with Chelsea and has impressed in his opening five games for the club. Badiashile has so far completed five lots of 90 minutes as a Blues player – perhaps more than what was expected. The youngster was signed by the club and viewed as someone for the future who could play the occasional game to further his development.

However, he has featured quite heavily for Chelsea in almost two months with the club. In that time, Badiashile has helped the Blues keep three clean sheets in his five games and has formed what looks to be an impressive defensive pairing with the veteran Thiago Silva .

And, with almost two months having passed since he penned a long-term deal in west London, understands Badiashile has settled in very well at the club. The Frenchman is very happy with his adaptation into a brand-new and extremely physical league. He also loves the club and is delighted with his decision to join Chelsea.

It could have all been so different for Badiashile, however, in January with plenty of clubs interested in the former Monaco centre-back. A source has told that both Barcelona and Liverpool tried to Badiashile over the January window but the defender had his heart set on a move to Chelsea instead, with the club's long-term project something that especially appealed to the Frenchman.

Chelsea did the most groundwork to try and get the deal secured and that really impressed Badiashile. It's something Chelsea supporters are not used to, beating Barcelona to a signature, having seen the likes of Jules Kounde and Raphinha choose the Camp Nou over Stamford Bridge last summer.

Badiashile has no regrets, though, despite Barca and Liverpool's efforts. The defender, in an interview with talkSPORT in January, spoke about how he has settled into life in a new country and football club.

"I'm very, very happy," the Chelsea defender explained. "It's an honour to wear the shirt of this famous club Chelsea. "The main reason that I came to Chelsea is that they have got such an exciting project. I am really looking forward to the future, the plans for the future are really positive. They've obviously shown they have a huge faith in youngsters and it's a good club to progress as a youngster. It's a project that convinced me as soon as we talked about it."

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