Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wants to carry on his summer spending spree - and is ready to snatch France right-back Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle under the noses of Newcastle, reports the Daily Mirror.
The 26-year-old French international has been earning rave reviews after impressive performances at Euro 2012, and has attracted interest from a host of different clubs.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew wanted to bring the Lille defender to Tyneside in January, and is planning a renewed bid, but will now face stiff competition as he attempts to secure Debuchy's signature.
With Jose Bosingwa set to leave Stamford Bridge upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the month, the Blues have a vacancy on the right side of defence, and have identified the Frenchman as the man to fill the void in west London.
Rated at around £6million, Debuchy won't break Chelsea's bank, having already splashed out on high profile signings Marko Marin and Eden Hazard.
And, now that Roberto Di Matteo has been appointed the club's permanent manager on a two-year deal, the Italian tactician is keen to start rebuilding his squad ahead of the new campaign.