Chelsea agree fee with Augsburg for Ghana defender Baba Rahman
Left back to fill gap left by departure of Filipe Luis back to Atletico Madrid
Augsburg left back Baba Rahman will join Chelsea on completion of a medical. Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea’s pursuit of defensive reinforcements looks like finally making some progress after the club agreed a deal with the German club FC Augsburg to purchase Baba Rahman.
The Ghana left back, 21, has been earmarked as a long-term replacement for Filipe Luis, who was sold back to Atletico Madrid after just a season at Stamford Bridge. Negotiations have been continuing for weeks, with the Premier League champions seeing a bid of €25 million rejected over the weekend.
Augsburg had been holding out for a fee closer to €30 million but with Rahman having already agreed personal terms for his move to the Premier League, the Bundesliga side have now reached a settlement over the structure of payments.
Chelsea are expected to pay around €20 million up front, with several significant bonus payments up to €8.5 million due should he play more than 100 matches. The player and his agent have already travelled to London and a medical is planned for this week.
Augsburg, who recorded their highest-ever finish of fifth in the Bundesliga last season, completed the purchase of a replacement for Rahman last week in the form of Philipp Max from Karlsruhe.
Rahman, who only signed from Greuther Fürth last summer, made what appears to be his last appearance for Augsburg on Friday night in the cup victory over fourth-division Elversberg, performing a lap of honour afterwards to say goodbye to supporters. “I would like to continue working with all players, but when you sign someone like Baba from the second division and he’s on Chelsea’s radar 12 months later, it does make the coaching staff proud,” said Augsburg’s coach, Markus Weinzierl.
Chelsea were alerted to Rahman’s promise by their former manager Avram Grant, who coaches Ghana. The 21-year-old was part of the squad who reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations this year.
Having begun his career in Ghana at Accra-based Dreams FC, Rahman has enjoyed a meteoric rise and was nominated as the best left back in his first season in the Bundesliga, losing out to Bayern Munich’s Juan Bernat.