Chelsea battle Premier League rivals in race for £17m Bundesliga defender

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Chelsea are the latest Premier League club to be linked with a move for Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos.

The Daily Star reports that the Blues are eager to land the 21-year-old centre back ahead of their rivals, with both Liverpool and Manchester City also monitoring the player.

Indeed, the paper claims Citizens chief Roberto Mancini is close to meeting a £17million release clause for the Greek international after talks with the Bundesliga outfit last month.

The Reds are also keeping a close eye on developments, according to German paper Bild, with Brendan Rodgers considering his defensive choices at Anfield ahead of Jamie Carragher’s retirement at the end of the season.

Chelsea are also considering their options at the back, with John Terry’s future far from certain beyond his current deal at Stamford Bridge, which expires in the summer of 2014.

However, the managerial situation in west London is sure to impact their transfer dealings, with a replacement for interim boss Rafa Benitez yet to be found on the King’s Road.

Jose Mourinho is constantly linked with a return to work under Blues owner Roman Abramovich, but until an official announcement is made, it's hard to see Chelsea doing any transfer business.

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