Chelsea have registered an interest in Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie and could rival Aston Villa for the 26-year-old’s signature.
The Ivory Coast international was a regular starter at AC Milan but has found minutes harder to come by at Barcelona.
While he did feature in 43 games across all competitions last season, the vast majority of his games came as a substitute.
In La Liga for example, he only started in seven matches and made a further 21 appearances from the bench.
Aston Villa have reportedly already made a €20m bid for the midfielder and Chelsea could now step up their interest.
As reported by La Vanguardia, Chelsea are said to hold an interest in the Barcelona star.
Chelsea have lost the likes of Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic this summer and so it makes sense they are looking into midfield options.
According to Barcelona journalist Anais Marti Herrero, Kessie won’t take part in Barcelona’s pre-season tour as he looks for a new club.
Along with Aston Villa and Chelsea, the midfielder has his admirers elsewhere. Juventus are keeping tabs on him, along with clubs from Saudi Arabia.
Mauricio Pochettino certainly has plenty of work to do in order to turn Chelsea’s fortunes around
They have made a positive start to the transfer window with the additions of Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson, although more players will be needed.
“We are working really hard,” Pochettino told reporters. “I trust this football club and the owners and what I need to do is to coach, to guide them to achieve what we expect and what our fans expect.
“I’m not going to talk about the past. All of the people in Chelsea and our fans need to be positive and try to really believe.
“I’m still not trying to think of the biggest challenge. It is important to finish the squad and have a balanced squad.
“In football, it is difficult to wait. At Chelsea you need to deliver from day one. We are working now in the training ground is about delivering from now, to give our best.”