Chelsea have opened negotiations with Schalke over the signing of defender Sead Kolasinac, report the Telegraph.
The Bosnian was expected to join Italian champions Juventus, but Branislav Ivanovic’s agreed switch to Zenit St Petersburg appears to have prompted Chelsea to make their move.
Kolasinac, who can operate in central defence or left-back, is out of contract in the summer and available on a free transfer at the ebd of the season, but Chelsea are hopeful of negotiating a deal that will see the Bundesliga side release him early.
Ivanovic, meanwhile, is expected to complete his move to Zenit on Tuesday, bringing to an end an illustrious association with the Stamford Bridge club that has seen him win two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League.
“I think he played a lot of games for this club, he won a lot for this club,” Chelsea boss Antonio Conte told the press. “He’s 32 and, I think, he can play for many (more) years.
“He’s able to continue his career in the right way at the top level, yes. It’s important also to respect the decision of the player, above all for this type of player – a legend of the club. If you are not playing a lot, you can decide to go in another team. But I have great respect for him and for this type of player.”