Chelsea have identified Bosnian centre-back Anel Ahmedhodzic as a potential defensive reinforcement, according to reports.
The Blues spent heavily on strengthening their attack during the summer transfer window, but Thiago Silva was the only central defender they brought in for the immediate future.
They had been pursuing a deal for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, with the plan to convert him into a centre-back. However, they failed to agree a fee for the England international.
Reports have since suggested that they could launch a new bid for Rice in January or next summer. On the other hand, though, West Ham are trying to give him a wage rise to convince him to stay.
Therefore, Chelsea may have to consider alternatives – and one potential solution has emerged. According to Expressen in Sweden, the Blues are interested in Malmo defender Ahmedhodzic.
Ahmedhodzic is a 21-year-old defender who made his senior debut for Bosnia-Herzegovina earlier this year. He previously represented his country of birth, Sweden, at youth level.
He has previous playing in England, after spending three years on the books at Nottingham Forest as a teenager. However, he only made one Championship appearance.
Since then, he has rediscovered regular playing time back in Sweden. With his boyhood club Malmo, Ahmedhodzic is on course to win the 2020 Allsvenskan title – having started all but one of their league games this season.
Ahmedhodzic available for €8m?
His long-term potential may see him lured back to England, though. According to Expressen, he has become a target for Chelsea.
However, he would be one for the future, rather than an immediate reinforcement. In a similar scenario to what happened with Malang Sarr this summer, the Blues could sign him and loan him out at first for him to gain experience.
There are three years remaining on Ahmedhodzic’s contract at Malmo. Chelsea could have the chance to sign him for somewhere in the region of €8m (£7.2m).
Should they reach an agreement over the price, Chelsea would be willing to offer a five-year contract to the player.