Chelsea are considering a bid for Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol in January, according to reports in Spain.
Albiol, 25, joined Madrid from rivals Valencia in 2009 for €15 million, but has failed to live up to expectations and has slipped out of favour with coach Jose Mourinho.
With the likes of Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho preferred in central defence, Mourinho had looked to offload the Spanish international to Manchester City this summer in a deal bringing Emmanuel Adebayor to the Bernabeu.
However, that move failed to materialise and now a switch to Stamford Bridge seems an ideal solution for both parties.
Despite having several options at his disposal, Blues’ boss Andre Villas-Boas is keen to bolster his defence with the possibility that Brazilian ace Alex could leave the club in January having come close to a switch during the summer.
It is reported that Chelsea scouts have been keeping a close eye on Albiol, and the club will make their move when the transfer window re-opens.
However, Villas-Boas may face competition in the shape of ambitious La Liga side Malaga, who are reportedly close to agreeing a permanent move for Albiol in January.