CHELSEA are fighting to cut short their ban on signing players and have reportedly identified Youcef Atal as a target should they succeed.

The Nice defender is no stranger to the Blues' shortlist having been linked for some time as a post-ban option.

According to Calciomercato.com, Chelsea will face competition from Valencia for Atal's signature.

The full-back played 29 times as Nice reached seventh in last season's Ligue 1.

But first, the Blues will have to convince the Court of Arbitration for Sport that they have served their time for flouting FIFA rules on signing young players.