Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia will push forward with her attempts to strike a deal for Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell and there could be updates on the move this week, according to reports.
Frank Lampard desperately wants a new left-back and has made Chilwell his top priority.
Leicester will not let their star go on the cheap and will demand around £80million – just like they made Manchester United pay for Harry Maguire last summer.
It is unlikely the Blues will shell out such a substantial amount, especially after already spending over £80m on Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
But Granovskaia is set to focus more of her time on negotiating with the Foxes and Sky Sports claim there could be progress this week.
Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri have alternated on the left side of Lampard’s defence this season.
But Palmieri is set to join Inter Milan when they finish their Europa League campaign so that will allow space for Chilwell to complete his move.
Sky Sports add that the lure of Champions League football has convinced Chilwell that his future lies at Stamford Bridge.
The 23-year-old is under contract until 2024 so it may be difficult for Granovskaia to work on lowering the fee.
If she is unable to do so then she will attempt to capture Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico, who is available for half the price.
Either way Lampard wants a new left-back and they must be part of the squad before the Blues return to pre-season training.
Meanwhile, former striker Tony Cascarino is unsure whether Chilwell will be an improvement on Lampard’s current defenders.
“Chilwell is a very good player, a very good footballer but I don’t think he’s the greatest defender, as a left-back, which sort of ticks a few boxes that Chelsea are already suffering with, with Alonso at left-back,” Cascarino told talkSPORT.
“He’s probably quite guilty of being far better going one way than the other. Also Emerson.
“It’s a lot of money. I watched him against Watford [in June] and Ismaila Sarr absolutely ran him ragged. I was quite surprised how easily he got the better of Chilwell on the day.
“He’s a good footballer and he’s very good creatively going forward. I just think it’s a huge price for someone.
“I think Chelsea need, in both positions, really good full-backs who can do the defensive work duties really well.”