Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is considering making a loan move for left-back Fabio Coentrao in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Mail.
The 25-year-old, who was linked with a move to Premier League champions Manchester United at the end of the summer transfer window, has been identified as the ideal replacement for the injured - and aging - Ashley Cole.
Cole, who turns 33 next month, has struggled with a rib injury in recent months - while Cesar Azpilicueta, a right-back by trade, has been deputising in the England international's left-back position.
Mourinho is a keen admirer of Coentrao after working alongside the Portugal international for two seasons at the Bernabeu - while both manager and player share the same agent, Jorge Mendes, which may increase the likelihood of a deal being completed in the new year.
While a loan looks the most likely option, Chelsea are expected to make the deal permanent next summer if he settles in west London.
Mourinho is reportedly not convinced by Chelsea's 24-year-old back-up left-back Ryan Bertrand, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool this week.