Chelsea are planning a move for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani this summer according to The Times.
The 24-year-old Uruguayan international, who holds the record as the most prolific player in a debut season in his current club's history, has been identified as the perfect forward addition to Chelsea's preferred 4-3-3 formation.
Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has sent the club's chief European scout Mick Doherty to watch the former Palermo striker in Serie A action on a number of occasions this season, with a view to bringing him to Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese tactician will also have an opportunity to see Cavani up close when Chelsea play Napoli over two legs in the UEFA Champions League last-16.
With the backing of the club's owner Roman Abramovich, Villas-Boas wants to rejuvenate an ageing Chelsea squad, and will be afforded the funds to do so more rigorously at the end of the season.
It is believed that the Blues have a number of other big-money targets lined up in the summer, but Cavani is seen as the headline target with an estimated valuation of €40million.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has ambitions of establishing the Italian outfit as a genuine European force, and though the South American striker is highly regarded, the club would be willing to let Cavani leave if that figure is met.
Having also completed the £10.7million signing of Eduardo Vargas, the Chilean striker from Universidad de Chile this week - a player widely regarded as Cavani’s long-term replacement, a move to Chelsea looks increasingly likely.
But with UEFA's Financial Fair Play guidelines looming, the Barclays Premier League club will also need to offload some of their current high-earners through a succession of player sales, starting in January.