CHELSEA are yet to announce their first signing of the January transfer window. - Bliteoc

CHELSEA are yet to announce their first signing of the January transfer window.

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Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel have hit a roadblock in their pursuit of AC Milan left-back Theo Hernandez, which could force the Blues to launch a third transfer plan to solve their left-back dilemma over the coming weeks. Lucas Digne was also reportedly on transfer chief Marina Granovskaia's radar, but it now looks as though the Frenchman will head to Aston Villa

Ben Chilwell's long-term injury has prompted Chelsea to seek left-back reinforcements in the January market. 

Marcos Alonso has deputised for the Englishman thus far, but with silverware to fight for between now and the end of the season, fans are likely to hope for a step up in quality. 

Everton wantaway Lucas Digne looked to be in the shop window this January after informing boss Rafa Benitez of his desire to leave Goodison Park. 

But according to Sky Sports, Villa are in advanced negotiations to land the former Barcelona left-back in an impressive coup for the West Midlands side. 

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel is set to miss out on two left-back targets this January (Image: GETTY)

Tuttosport claimed last month that Chelsea had turned their attention towards AC Milan's flying full-back Hernandez. 

The 24-year-old has taken Serie A by storm since leaving Real Madrid in 2019, and he boasts a goals-to-game record that some strikers would be envious of. 

He would therefore be a perfect fit for Thomas Tuchel's wing-back system, but the Blues are unlikely to get their wish. 

The report states that Milan are holding out for a whopping £50million, a fee which would be hard to justify if Hernandez was signed merely as competition for Chilwell in the long term. 

Furthermore, he is so highly thought of at the San Siro that they are already in advanced talks to tie him down to a new deal until 2026. 

With two transfer plans seemingly dead in the water, Chelsea could be forced to pursue a third option if they are intent on recruiting cover before the month is out. 

But Tuchel could have an in-house solution available, with Emerson Palmieri currently out on loan with Lyon. 

The Italy international has never notched more than 15 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in a single season, but he could see more action if he was required back at Stamford Bridge for the remainder of the campaign. 

Theo Hernandez
Theo Hernandez has put up superb attacking numbers since his 2019 switch to AC Milan (Image: GETTY)

Elsewhere in the Blues' web of loanees, teenager Ian Maatsen is impressing during his temporary stint with Championship side Coventry City. 

While a return to west London would require a step up in quality, the diminutive youngster is highly regarded by those in the club's youth set-up. 

Either way, it is likely to be onto Plan C for Tuchel, Granovskaia and co. as their attempts to lure in left-back reinforcements hit complications. 

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