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Chelsea eye January deal for Athletic Bilbao defender Aitor Paredes

Chelsea are interested in signing Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aitor Paredes this month and have asked for his asking price, according to the Sun.

The Blues are looking to bolster their defensive ranks following injuries to Wesley Fofana, Benoit Badiashile and Trevoh Chalobah.

They have already been linked with Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva but getting a deal done for the Portugal international could prove difficult.

Chelsea have now turned attention towards Parades and have had scouts running the rule over him in recent games.

The 23-year-old is comfortable playing out from the back, and his strong athletic profile has also caught the attention of the Stamford Bridge club outfit.

Real Madrid are also keeping tabs on Parades given their injury crisis at the back and have already approached him this month.

Inter Milan are also admirers of the Bilbao star who has featured in 19 La Liga games for the fourth-placed club this term.

Parades bagged a goal in his side’s 2-0 victory over Sevilla on Thursday, with a Chelsea scout in attendance, and his strength and recovery pace are key qualities that have also impressed the Blues.

A call-up to the Spanish national team for the upcoming Euros is widely expected for Parades, and Chelsea have asked his club to set a price, but they have so far been reluctant to do so.

He is contracted at the Spanish top-flight club until 2025 and could be available for around £20 million this month.

Whether Parades will be keen to move to Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window remains to be seen given their struggles.

While Mauricio Pochettino’s side are 10th in the Premier League table after 20 games, Bilbao are pushing for a place in the Champions League next term and their academy graduate could prefer to end the season with them.

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