Chelsea add Wolves star Rayan Ait-Nouri to left-back shortlist

  • Chelsea are among the sides following Ait-Nouri's progress at Wolves
  • Blues face parting ways with Ian Maatsen as Dutchman's contract winds down
  • Alphonso Davies & Valentin Barco also targets
Ait-Nouri is on Chelsea's radar
Ait-Nouri is on Chelsea's radar / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Chelsea have added Wolverhampton Wanderers left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri to their list of potential targets for 2024, 90min understands.

Ait-Nouri established himself as one of the top young left-backs around when he made his breakthrough for Angers in 2018, earning himself a loan to Wolves in 2020 which was made permanent for £10m a year later.

The 22-year-old was frozen out last season under former boss Julen Lopetegui and came close to sealing a summer switch to French side Nice, but has instead enjoyed a resurgence under current manager Gary O'Neil.

Now impressing once again, Ait-Nouri has played his way on to Chelsea's radar. Sources close to the situation have told 90min that the Blues have been tracking Ait-Nouri as they prepare for a potential shift in their left-back depth next year.

Current Chelsea understudy Ian Maatsen could be sold as he approaches the final 18 months of his contract, with Manchester City known admirers of the Dutchman. Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucurella are also on the books at Chelsea but the Blues are keen to maintain the depth in the position.

Rayan Aït-Nouri
Ait-Nouri has impressed for Wolves / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies is a high-profile target but Chelsea believe Real Madrid are well ahead in the race for the Canada international's signature.

Argentinian starlet Valentin Barco of Boca Juniors is also on Chelsea's radar, with the Blues prepared to battle with Man City over the 19-year-old, who has a release clause of just £8m in his current contract.

With competition for both Davies and Barco so intense, Chelsea are exploring a long list of possible alternatives and have been impressed by Ait-Nouri, who has also been watched by Liverpool, Man City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain in the last 12 months.

Wolves are well aware of the mounting interest in Ait-Nouri and are working to prepare themselves for his departure, having begun scouting Atletico Mineiro defender Guilherme Arana as a possible replacement.