Chelsea have joined the race to sign Liverpool and Arsenal target Samuel Umtiti, and could make a bid to sign the highly-rated Lyon defender when the transfer window reopens this summer.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Blues boss Jose Mourinho has identified the 21-year-old as a possible replacement for Filipe Luis at Stamford Bridge as the Brazil international appears increasingly keen on a return to Atletico Madrid.
Umtiti can play at left-back or in the centre of defence, and it's his versatility that first caught the eye of the Portuguese tactician, who is ready to rival Brendan Rodgers and Arsene Wenger for the Ligue 1 starlet's signature.
The overwhelming success that Kurt Zouma has enjoyed since moving to west London means Mourinho is open to negotiating more deals for emerging young talents in France, and he's optimistic that Umtiti can have the same kind of impact as the former Saint Etienne star.
And, with Lyon head coach Hubert Fournier reportedly interested in taking Loic Remy to Stade de Gerland, Chelsea's chances of landing the in-demand stopper ahead of the Gunners and the Reds has been significantly improved.
The Daily Star reported earlier this month that the Cameroon-born France U21 international is valued at around £11 million - which is considerably less than the valuation the Blues have placed on Remy's head.
However, a player-plus-cash deal remains a possibility providing other suitors like Inter Milan and Real Madrid refrain from making rival bids of their own for the player's services.
Umtiti has become an integral first-team figure for Les Gones, making over 100 league appearances for the club. He featured in all but three Ligue 1 matches in 2014/15 as Lyon ran Paris Saint-Germain very close in the race for the French title, finishing in second place with 75 points.
Chairman and owner Jean-Michel Aulas will certainly be demanding big-money for one of the team's most important players, should they receive any formal enquiries about his availability this close season.
Chelsea fans: Do you think Samuel Umtiti would represent a good signing this summer? Would you be happy to see him replace Filipe Luis in Jose Mourinho's squad? Have your say in the comment box below...
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