Chelsea are turning their attentions to Leonardo Bonucci as an alternative to Virgil Van Dijk, reports the Evening Standard.
Van Dijk is still set to leave Southampton, but the sheer number of top Premier League clubs interested in his services is likely to spark a bidding war.
It’s suggested the Dutchman is headed for Liverpool, who are happy to front up the £60million fee the Saints are demanding.
Chelsea’s need is less desperate, though they are searching for a replacement for John Terry. David Luiz and Gary Cahill have been Antonio Conte’s first-choice centre-backs this season, but the Blues boss knows Bonucci well from the Italian national side and from his time in Turin.
The 30-year-old won’t be a cheap option and has no real reason to leave the Serie A champions, who reached the Champions League final but lost out to Real Madrid.
The question is whether the appeal of working with Conte again will be strong enough to tempt him to Stamford Bridge.
Roma’s Antonio Rudiger is the other option being considered.