Chelsea have reportedly enquired about Inter Milan defender Martin Skriniar as part of a swap deal that will see Romelu Lukaku return to his old club.
Thomas Tuchel has made the addition of a new centre-back his top priority this summer following the exit of first-team regular Antonio Rudiger, while Andreas Christensen is close to joining Barcelona on a free transfer.
Inter are known to have already turned down a £43million offer from PSG. Meanwhile, Tottenham have also moved for the Slovakian in the past.
However, they could be open to doing a deal if it means Lukaku returning to the San Siro.
The Belgian appears to be desperate to return to Italy after struggling in his first campaign back at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku scored 15 goals in 44 appearances for the Blues in all competitions last season. However, he was often dropped to the bench in favour of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
To that end, Chelsea are ready to cash in – if Inter play ball over their swap proposal.
The one major hope Chelsea have over a move for the 27-year-old is his contract situation. Indeed, Skriniar has just a year left on his existing deal which makes him more attainable.
Skriniar contract running down
As for the player himself, Skriniar is happy in Italy – having also rebuffed Spurs in the past.
Inter Milan and Chelsea close to Romelu Lukaku deal
Chelsea and Inter Milan are close to agreeing a loan move from Romelu Lukaku with an obligation to buy
The former Sampdoria star played 48 games for Inter last season as they finished second in Serie A. However, he is not the only centre-back on Tuchel’s radar.
Sevilla’s Jules Kounde remains a major Chelsea target. But the France defender aggravated a pelvis injury in a Nations League clash with Croatia to cast doubt over the move.
Blues fans are still waiting for their first signing of the season, despite Todd Boehly’s takeover going through.