FC Nantes have confirmed they have reached an agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of Papy Djilobodji, with the Senegalese defender having signed a contract at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2019.
A statement on the French club's official website read: "FC Nantes, Chelsea and Papy Djilobodji have reached an agreement for the transfer of the Senegalese international. Papy Djilobodji is a player for the Blues for the next four seasons.
Jose Mourinho has been eager to bolster his options at centre-back for several weeks now following his side's uncertain start to their title defence. Captain John Terry in particular has shown alarming signs of regression, being hauled off at half-time during the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City before being sent off at West Brom. John Stones had long been established as their primary target, although Everton's reluctance to sell the wantaway 21 year old despite bids of up to £38m ($58.2m) has put an end to negotiations.
The failure to land Stones has led Chelsea to Djilobodji, with The Guardian reporting that the Premier League champions will pay just £2.7m for a player who is also believed to have attracted attention from Celtic as well as Super Lig outfit Trabzonspor and Celta Vigo.
The Times claim that Sunderland, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers were other potential suitors, rendering Mourinho's interest slightly surprising given that the player could so easily have ended the current transfer window in the Championship. Djilobodji's first appearance for his new club could come on 12 September as Chelsea travel to Everton and he is the ninth player to move to West London this summer following the arrivals of Radamel Falcao, Danilo Pantic, Cristian Manea, Nathan, Asmir Begovic, Pedro, Baba Rahman and Brazilian Kenedy.
A defensive signing was thought likely to signal the end of the Blues' spending for this window, although it is now being suggested that they are close to completing a £4m deal for another central defender, Reading's Michael Hector. Yesterday, Lucas Piazon and Jeremie Boga completed temporary moves to the Reading and Rennes respectively, while Victor Moses has signed a new four-year deal before heading out on loan to West Ham. Midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah is expected to spend the rest of the season in Serie A with Napoli.