Chelsea have already drawn up a list of potential summer signings as they prepare to overhaul their defensive line, reports the Evening Standard.
The failure to recruit a new centre-back has been seen as one of the main reasons for their incredible decline this season. Not only are they out of contention to retain their title, but they now find themselves scrapping away from the relegation zone.
Jose Mourinho tried his best to sign Everton star John Stones last summer only to see his £38million bid knocked back. While Mourinho may have departed Stamford Bridge, interest in Stones remains, but Chelsea scouts have earmarked two alternatives should the Toffees refuse to budge.
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Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Marquinhos is one candidate. The Brazilian youngster found himself on the radar of both Chelsea and Manchester United last season after falling out of favour under Laurent Blanc.
Again, he finds himself behind Thiago Silva and David Luiz and has started just eight of PSG's 22 Ligue 1 games in the current campaign. However, despite his position in the squad, he won't come cheap. The 21-year-old is seen as a long-term replacement for Silva and cost PSG £27m to sign in 2013.
Another star reportedly on the list is Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez. Also 21, the Uruguayan is the latest triumph of Atletico's South American scouting programme. He has played a key role in helping Atletico to the top of La Liga this season and has attracted interest as a result.
A deal for Gimenez would be more likely if Chelsea manage to nab Atletico's manager Diego Simeone. He is one of their top choices to replace Guus Hiddink in the summer and, if he agrees to take over at Stamford Bridge, will be asked to help leverage a deal for the defender.
Their long-term interest in both Koke and Antoine Griezmann is also likely to receive a boost if Simeone takes charge.
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