Barcelona are reportedly trailing Chelsea in the race to sign Hungarian centre-back Attila Szalai, who is valued at €20 million by Fenerbahce.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Chelsea are leading the race to sign Attila Szalai from Fenerbahce in the January transfer window. The Hungarian centre-back, who is valued at €20 million, is also being courted by Fenerbahce.

Attila Szalai joined Fenerbahce from Apollon Limassol earlier this year in the January transfer window and has since come leaps and bounds. A regular feature for club and country, the 23-year-old impressed for Hungary at UEFA Euro 2020 and has made his mark for Fenerbahce this term.

Thus far this season, the Hungarian centre-back has made 18 appearances across all competitions. However, if recent reports are to be believed, Szalai could be set to leave Fenerbahce just a year after arriving at the Turkish club. Several clubs are keen on signing him, with Barcelona and Chelsea hot on his trail.

The interest from Barcelona makes sense, as Samuel Umtiti is surplus to requirements at Camp Nou while Clement Lenglet has fallen down the pecking order and could be offloaded by the club soon. With Gerard Pique in the twilight of his career, it is imperative that Barcelona sign a centre-back, making Szalai a viable target.

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On the other hand, Chelsea are in a precarious situation over the future of Antonio Rudiger, who is no closer to signing a new deal with the club. With the German international’s current contract running out next summer, the Blues need to be on the lookout for possible replacement options, which explains the interest in Szalai.

According to Fichajes, Chelsea are leading the race to sign Szalai, with Barcelona yet to even take the required steps to secure the services of the 23-year-old. Valued at €20 million, Szalai does not have a prohibitive price tag.

However, with widespread reports claiming that Barcelona are only likely to sign players on loan in January, it is understandable why they have been hesitant in pursuit of Szalai. What now remains to be seen is if Chelsea do end up landing the Hungarian centre-back in a deal worth €20 million in the January transfer window.

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