Chelsea are reportedly targeting RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol to help replace outgoing duo Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen this summer.
The 20-year-old defenseman is seen as a good fit to play on the left side of a 3-pointer, in a position similar to the one Rudiger currently plays for the Blues.
German international Rudiger has agreed a long-term deal with Real Madrid, while Christensen looks set to join Barcelona on a free transfer.
The loss of the two centre-backs means Thomas Tuchel has his work cut out to fill in the gaps in the summer transfer window.
Gvardiol is said to be a top priority according to Goalbut he is one of many on Tuchel’s list of potential replacements, including Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe and Atletico Madrid’s José Giménez.
The report also claims that the Blues have been following the defender since broke through with Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb.
They sent out scouts to observe it in person on at least two occasions and continued to watch it from afar with their video and data-based scouting systems.
Gvardiol, who has 10 caps for his country, moved to Leipzig in 2020 but stayed on loan at Dinamo last season.
But this season he has established himself in the first team of the Bundesliga team and helped it to the Europa League semi-final before Rangers eliminated him on Thursday night.
The youngster has previously outlined his ambition to play for England, although his dream was to go to Anfield instead of Stamford Bridge.
He admitted last year: ‘From a very young age, I watched Liverpool games with my father and grew up with just them.
“When I took football more seriously, I started following them, and I definitely want the Premier League and Liverpool to move one day.”
Chelsea are currently unable to make new signings or complete new contract terms with existing players under the club’s UK government sanctions.
However, the sale of the club should be completed by the end of this month, allowing Chelsea bosses to get back on track.