Chelsea Women: What to know about center half transfer target Maelle Lakrar

The January transfer window is open, and despite being in a good position domestically, and in Europe, Chelsea Women still have ways in which it can improve the squad. Here's a look at one of the club's rumored targets.
Portugal v France - UEFA Womens Nations League
Portugal v France - UEFA Womens Nations League / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages
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Estelle Cascarino, Maëlle Lakrar, Élisa de Almeida
Panama v France: Group F - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Chelsea Women may need to battle a top European side to secure Lakrar's services

The issue---the Blues are not the only top European outfit in business for a center back this January. Barcelona is arguably in a worse situation, missing three first team center halves at the time of writing including Mapi Leon, the spine of Barca's defense for an extended period. Three out of the four defenders that started in the latest UEFA Women's Champions League final are missing in action. The club was forced to move natural midfielder Ingrid Engen into defense toward the tail end of 2023.

The competition for Lakrar was confirmed by the French media outfit L’Equipe. While the club does not seek to sell her per the same source, No. 20's contract situation makes one think Montpellier may do just that. This second half of the club season is set to be her last with the French side if an extension is not signed.

Whether it's Lakrar or someone else, a reinforcement of depth for Hayes' final few months is necessary as the club hunts for European and domestic silverware.

Montpellier returns to league play in the French top-flight on January 10 against 10th place Guingamp. Chelsea will have until 23:00 GMT on January 31 to get a transfer completed.