Chelsea have made an official enquiry for Newcastle United midfielder Cheik Tiote, according to the Evening Standard.
The Blues, now under Andre Villas-Boas, are looking for some fresh faces to bolster their squad ahead of another assault on the Barclays Premier League title.
However, Chelsea's need is greater following injury to Michael Essien, which will rule him out for the next six months.
Essien's injury previous problems have prompted Chelsea to look into drafting in a replacement, and Tiote's impressive first season at St James' Park means he is the club's No.1 target.
Newcastle signed the Ivory Coast international last summer for £4.5 million from FC Twente and mid-way through the season, due to his impressive form, signed a six-and-a-half-year contract.
But that is said not to put off Chelsea, who have also expressed an interest in taking Scott Parker on loan from West Ham United.