Chelsea are set to rival AC Milan for the signing of Strasbourg defender Mohamed Simakan, according to reports.
The Blues were Europe’s biggest spenders last summer, as they splashed more than £200m on new additions to Frank Lampard’s squad.
Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy were among the newcomers at Stamford Bridge.
The 20-year-old has been a regular starter for Strasbourg so far this season, making appearances in Ligue 1.
However, the Frenchman is ready to quit the Stade de la Meinau in favour of a move to a bigger European outfit.
Chelsea have joined the race to sign Simakan in the January transfer window, although they will face stiff competition from Milan (opens in new tab).
The Rossoneri are still unbeaten in Serie A and sit one point clear of rivals Inter at the top of the table.
Stefano Pioli is keen to bolster his backline this month and has identified Simakan as a leading target.
Milan tried to sign the defender in the summer but Strasbourg held firm and resisted their overtures.
Chelsea are also keen on the youngster, who is viewed as a potential long-term successor to Thiago Silva.
The Brazilian has been excellent for the Blues this term but will turn 37 later this year.
Chelsea are willing to loan Simakan back to Strasbourg for the rest of the campaign in a bid to win the battle for his signature.
Nice are also said to be interested in the Marseille-born stopper, who has yet to win a senior cap for France.
Chelsea return to Premier League action against Manchester City (opens in new tab) on Sunday, before an FA Cup clash with Morecambe next weekend.
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