Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea will let Nigeria international John Obi Mikel leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, with Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula on the radar of the west London club, as per reports.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho views Imbula as a possible back-up and competitor for Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas, who are struggling for form this season.
Before making the switch to the Portuguese league, the Frenchman featured in 37 of Marseille’s 38 league outings the last time out, scoring twice as the French outfit finished fourth in the table in what was boss Marcelo Bielsa’s last game in charge.
Meanwhile, the Blues are also eyeing a move for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos, who is rated at €30m.
Reports claim the aggressive defender is a January target for Chelsea as the club seek to plug the gap in the leaky defence, which has conceded 17 goals in the Premier League this term.
Marquinhos, 21, is understood to be unhappy at the Parc des Princes as he is behind countrymen David Luiz and Thiago Silva in the pecking order. Chelsea can clinch a deal for the Brazilian ace if they can convince and assure him of enough game time.
Mourinho was actively in pursuit of Everton defender John Stones in the summer, but the Toffees rebuffed all four approaches from the Blues, resolutely holding on to their coveted defender.
Should Chelsea succeed in luring Marquinhos to Stamford Bridge, it would be a brilliant piece of business by the club considering captain John Terry is ageing and losing form.