Chelsea are bidding to solve their defensive troubles with Senegal defender Papy Djilobodji as a switch from Nantes nears completion.
The Premier League champions have conceded nine goals in four games in accruing four points to sit eight adrift of leaders Manchester City.
Chelsea's pursuit of John Stones has been repelled by Everton and reports in the French media say £4million deal for Djilobodji is near completion. It is less than 10 per cent of the sum offered for Stones.
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The 27-year-old Djilobodji has one year remaining on his contract with Nantes and is flying to London for a medical, according to reports in France.
Djilobodji has reportedly been linked with Celtic and Trabzonspor in Turkey, who had a euros 2m offer rejected in the last few days.
His likely switch to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea is unexpected.
The Blues have signed goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, left-back Baba Rahman and striker Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco - all like-for-like replacements for the departed Petr Cech, Filipe Luis and Didier Drogba.
Pedro was added from Barcelona, boosting morale and the performance in a win at West Brom before Saturday's loss to Crystal Palace.
Rumoured interest in Paul Pogba of Juventus refuses to subside, but it would take an astronomical fee to land the Frenchman, and Chelsea will require a U-turn from Everton to return for Stones.
Mourinho insisted Chelsea would not panic in the closing hours of the transfer window.
And Djilobodji may represent little more than a fall-back option as his pedigree is not quite at the standard Mourinho would wish for.