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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Chelsea in talks over January deal for 23-year-old after message from Conte

     Rahman signed for the Blues during the summer of 2015 for £21m ($27.1m), but made just 11 appearances during his debut season and still has not played under Antonio Conte, who judged the full-back to be "too attacking" upon his arrival at Stamford Bridge.

Rahman instead found first-team opportunities at Schalke during a season-long loan but the Ghana international suffered a serious knee injury during the Africa Cup of Nations in January 2017 which ruled him out for the remainder of the season.

Schalke had been keen to strike another deal for the left wing-back last summer but that injury scuppered those plans, with the player remaining in west London to complete his rehabilitation.

Rahman is now back in training and the German side are once again interested in sealing a deal.

"One more player would be good for us, I am thinking about Abdul Rahman Baba for the left wing above all," Schalke head coach Domenico Tedesco told Kicker. "He still has a flat here in Gelsenkirchen, he knows Schalke and Schalke knows him.

"If we could him on loan from Chelsea for a longer spell we wouldn't be adverse. We are clarifying now how good his fitness is at the moment."

Schalke general manager Christial Heidel has also confirmed in the last week that he has been in talks with the Blues over the 23-year-old.

Conte has not forgotten about Rahman, however. While he remains firmly behind Marcos Alonso in the first-team pecking order, Kenedy's proposed move to Newcastle United this month could open up room for the Ghanaian to compete for a squad role – with the club reportedly hitting a wall in their attempts to sign Alex Sandro from Juventus.

Conte recently said he is "ready to help" Rahman after his lengthy setback and did not rule out the possibility of the player remaining in west London for the rest of the season.

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