Chelsea should seriously consider a move for Manchester United and Liverpool target Ricardo Rodriguez as they look to land a new left-back ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
The highly-rated Switzerland international impressed many at the World Cup this summer, off the back of a solid showing in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg last season.
At 21, Rodriguez is still learning his trade, but has already proved that he has the potential to succeed at the highest level, and would represent a solid long-term replacement for Ashley Cole at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho spent a large part of last season playing Cesar Azpilicueta out of position on the left side of Chelsea's defence, but the Spaniard's switch to the opposite flank is only ever going to be a short-term solution.
After missing out on the signature of former Southampton starlet Luke Shaw to Manchester United, attention has since turned to Atletico Madrid's Brazilian full-back Filipe Luis. However, the Blues' focus is on attempting to lure the wrong player to west London, with Rodriguez a significantly better option for Mourinho.
According to German newspaper The Wolfsburger Allgemeine, Manchester United are believed to have made a 'concrete offer' for the player, despite having already recruited a £30 million left-back this summer.
With question marks surrounding the future of Patrice Evra at Old Trafford - even after recently penning a one-year contract extension - Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is reportedly keen on recruiting Rodriguez to provide competition for Shaw next season.
Brendan Rodgers has also been mooted as an admirer of Rodriguez, having failed in his attempts to lure Alberto Moreno to Anfield. Liverpool similarly utilised a right-back on the left side of defence last season, with Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan sharing that responsibility.
Despite Liverpool's alleged interest, Chelsea would surely represent a much more attractive proposition for Rodriguez were the Blues to firm up their interest in the Wolfsburg star.
With Jose Enrique returning to full fitness at Liverpool this pre-season, the Swiss star would immediately find himself with competition for a starting place in Rodgers's side in 2014/15.
Chelsea the best option
At Chelsea, Ryan Bertrand is the only naturally left-sided full-back that could rival Rodriguez for a starting berth, meaning that he would have a significantly stronger chance of beginning the new Premier League season in the Chelsea side.
The Daily Mail reports that Wolfsburg want around £15 million for the player's services, and would prefer to sell the talented Swiss full-back if it meant they could retain Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo.
Dieter Hecking is in the market for a new striker at the Volkswagen Arena, but must raise funds of his own by selling off existing assets.
An alternative option for Chelsea is to consider letting one of their strikers leave in a player-plus-cash deal, with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku all deemed surplus to requirements by Mourinho.
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