French outfit Racing Club de Strasbourg has begun life under the Chelsea ownership umbrella in earnest this summer after Les Bleu et Blanc sealed the record-breaking purchase of Ivorian international center-back Abakar Sylla.
The 20-year-old Ivorian international is coming off a highly-successful full debut season in Brugge, which included helping the Belgian outfit reach the knockout stages of the Champions League.
As confirmed by football insider Fabrizio Romano, Strasbourg has completed their first official transfer under West London hegemony when they splashed a total of €20m + €2m for Sylla over two installments, trumping their previous record spend (€10m) on current headline striker Habib Diallo.
Sylla made 27 appearances for Brugge across all competitions in 2022-23, while his lone goal during the season came during match day one of the Champions League group stages when he hit the match-winner against Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.
BlueCo, the overall parent corporation in charge of Chelsea, had previously reached an agreement three weeks ago which saw them purchase a majority stake in the French club, rumored to be a complete takeover. This was part of the long-term vision of both Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali to bring a multi-club network to the Premier League giants akin to what City Football Group and Red Bull have championed.
Club president Marc Keller, former French international and Strasbourg as well as the club’s biggest shareholder, insisted that the French side be allowed to keep their backroom setup in place moving forward, which should still allow the Alsatian outfit to remain connected to both the fans as well as it’s overall remit in terms of player recruitment.
However, in the case of Sylla and other players that no doubt will arrive at Stade de la Meinau moving forward, it is fair to expect that Chelsea will ultimately look to purchase players directly if they are deemed suited for the Premier League, much in the way that Leipzig treats subordinate club RB Salzburg.