Leicester City have lined up Kieran Tierney as a replacement for Ben Chilwell if the England full-back leaves for Chelsea, according to reports.
Chilwell has emerged as a top target at Stamford Bridge amid rumours that either Emerson Palmieri or Marcos Alonso could leave at the end of the season.
Both players are tipped to reunite with former Blues bosses, with Brazilian-born Italy international Emerson wanted by Maurizio Sarri at Juventus, and Alonso on the radar of Antonio Conte at Inter Milan.
Should either player depart, it is widely believed that Chelsea will target England star Chilwell, who has been a key part of Leicester’s charge for a top four place this season.
Such a signing has been approved by former Blues left-back Ashley Cole, who said of Chilwell in December: “I’d love to see him here. I think he’s a quality player.
“I’ve heard he’s a Chelsea fan so yes I’d like to see him here. It’s a big decision for the club but quality-wise for sure he is good enough.”
Now, that move may have taken a step closer, as 90min are reporting that Leicester have already got a replacement in mind.
It is claimed that the Foxes are eyeing up a move for Kieran Tierney, who has struggled with injuries since moving from Celtic to Arsenal in the summer.
Tierney has made just four Premier League starts this season, and has not featured since December – which leads the website to claim that the Gunners would be willing to cut their losses and cash in on him in the summer.
Arsenal will only sell Tierney if they can recoup the £25m they paid for him, but it is a sale they are open to, and with Leicester potentially earning as much as £100m from Chilwell, the fee is one that the Foxes would be able to pay.
Of course, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers worked with Tierney at Celtic, winning two domestic trebles together.
Rodgers was enthusiastic of his praise of the Scotland international before Leicester faced Arsenal back in November, saying: “Kieran was absolutely brilliant for me during my time at Celtic – a great boy who was just so committed to playing for Celtic.
“He gave everything in training and did it with a real winning mentality. Every time he played for Celtic he poured absolutely everything into the shirt.
“But not too dissimilar to myself, he felt that the next professional challenge lay elsewhere.”
It is now suggested the pair could reunite in the event of Chilwell leaving the King Power Stadium – with Manchester rivals City and United both also keen on the Englishman.
However, any City move for Chilwell is set to hinge on the appeal of their two-season European ban, as Champions League football is likely to be a factor in attracting the 23-year-old.