Chelsea have made an initial inquiry to Tottenham Hotspur over their Croatian star Luka Modric, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The informal approach comes after Real Madrid cooled their interest in the Spurs midfielder, but Chelsea, who had three bids rejected last year, are thought to be still keen on the player.
Modric is reportedly ready to hand in a transfer request in an attempt to force a move but Spurs remain steadfast over their £50million valuation of the midfielder. That transfer tag is putting off would-be suitors, and Manchester United - who are admirers of the player - are unwilling to match the fee.
The 26-year-old was the subject of intense interest from Chelsea last summer, and the Blues had three separate bids turned down - including one reportedly close to £40million on transfer deadline day.
And Roman Abramovich is thought to be eager to continue his summer spending spree. The Chelsea owner has already sanctioned the signings of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin, and the Stamford Bridge side are believed to be close to bringing in another striker to replace the departed Didier Drogba.
But Real Madrid were leading the chase for the Croatian playmaker before backing off in recent days. A cash plus player deal was mooted, with former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin acting as a makeweight, but the Turkish star is thought to be unwilling to move.