Sporting Lisbon captain Daniel Carrico has emerged as a surprise summer transfer target for Chelsea reports talkSPORT.
The Portuguese under-21 international could follow former teammate and defensive partner David Luiz to Stamford Bridge after Carlo Ancelotti expressed an interest in the promising defender.
Carrico has been an integral part of the Sporting first team since being promoted from their academy in 2007, but failure to qualify for the Champions League this season will force the Primeira Liga side to sell their best players.
After 21 league matches Lisbon find themselves 18 points adrift, behind second-placed Benfica, leaving a number of leading European clubs waiting to pounce.
Manchester City have been previously linked with Carrico but Chelsea now look to be the favourites to land the player’s signature.
Blues officials will be hoping they can use Luiz as a pawn in their player pursuit to convince Carrico that a move to Stamford Bridge is in the best interests of his long-term future.
However, having held out for £21m for Luiz in January, Sporting will be hoping to squeeze as much money as they possibly can out of a Chelsea side who have recently shown they are prepared to flex their muscles in the transfer market once again.
Blues’ owner Roman Abramovich has called for the Chelsea squad to be ‘freshened up’ in a bid for a stronger challenge for the Barclays Premier League title next season.
In light of that, Ancelotti has been tasked with pinpointing a number of proposed transfer targets for Chelsea officials to open talks with when the window reopens in the summer, and Carrico currently tops that list.