Chelsea have made Athletic Club Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte their number one defensive target this summer, according to reports.
ESPN state the defender, who turns 23 at the end of the month, is a priority for Antonio Conte’s side who will seek to replace the out-of-contract John Terry in their squad in the summer months.
The France under 21 international, who also qualifies to play for Spain, has previously rejected approaches from Manchester City, instead signing a new deal at San Mames until June 2020.
Athletic Club would be unlikely to sell the highly-rated defender below his €65m release clause – which will increase to €70m in July 2018 – but the Blues are confident a deal to play Champions League football and live in London would prove too much for him to resist.
There continues to be speculation surrounding the futures of Conte along with star players Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, but the Blues are keen to get transfer business done early.