Chelsea are reportedly monitoring Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles with a view to making a move for the defender this summer.
Blues boss Antonio Conte is looking to add another centre-back option to his squad, despite his own Stamford Bridge future being in doubt beyond the end of this season.
The reigning Premier League champions, who have struggled in their attempt to defend the title, are said to be looking to add more young English players to their squad and the 24-year-old Lascelles fits the profile of what they are looking for, according to the report in the London Evening Standard.
The Blues added Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater in the last two transfer windows to prove that point, while their current centre-back options will need freshening up as both Gary Cahill, 32, and David Luiz, 30, are moving into the latter stages of their careers.
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Neither are assured of their starting spots any more due to the emergence of Andreas Christensen and the summer arrival of Antonio Rudiger and that has prompted Chelsea to look for reinforcements in that area.
Lascelles has been excellent in a Newcastle side that has struggled at time this season, so much so that he was given a new six-year contract worth a reported £50,000-a-week in October last year.
Chelsea, however, can comfortably top that salary and the fact that Amanda Staveley’s proposed takeover of Newcastle feel through has alerted the west London giants that the Magpies may be open to selling one of their top stars.
The report does though go on to state that Newcastle are not actively looking to sell Lascelles and that Toon boss Rafa Benitez will fight tooth and nail to keep the former Nottingham Forest star.