Chelsea face fight in Dutch defender pursuit - reports

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Valencia have reportedly emerged as frontrunners to sign Ajax defender Gregory van der Wiel.

According to Superdeporte, Unai Emery has identified the 23-year-old Holland international as a January transfer window target, although other sides are monitoring his progress.

Chelsea or one of the clubs to have consistently been credited with interest in van der Wiel, and a transfer window offer from Andre Villas-Boas has been mooted.

The Chelsea boss is under pressure to find the right formula at Stamford Bridge, having witnessed his side lose five of their last eight games, while ship goals at an alarming rate.

This could see Villa-Boas delve into the market once again when the window opens in January, and van der Wiel would appear to be one of numerous possible targets for the Portuguese.

Also reported to be on the Chelsea radar is Udinese centre-back Mehdi Benatia, while Edinson Cavani has been touted as a long-term successor to Didier Drogba.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Anelka is expected to leave the Blues in the New Year, and Harry Redknapp on Wednesday refused to rule Tottenham out of the race for his signature.

Premier League

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