Chelsea are ready to step up their interest in Valencia defender Jose Gaya when the transfer window reopens in the new year.
A report from Spanish newspaper Sport claims Roman Abramovich has given his backing to the transfer bid after a disastrous start to the season for the Blues.
Three defeats in their first five Premier League games has seen Chelsea fall 11 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City. Indeed, some pundits already believe they have ruined their chances of retaining the title.
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But that will not stop Jose Mourinho from strengthening at the first available opportunity. Having conceded the most goals out of all 20 clubs, it is with no surprise that defenders are topping the Portuguese's wish list.
Gaya, 20, is one of the hottest prospects currently on offer in Europe. He is already a major first-team star for Valencia and played 35 La Liga games last season to help them qualify for the Champions League.
The left-back has a release clause of €49million, but it is highly likely that Valencia would allow him to leave for less. Whatever his real asking price, Mourinho will test the Spanish club's resolve with a January bid.
The end of Ivanovic
Having signed Baba Rahman in the summer transfer window, Chelsea fans may be wondering why Mourinho is chasing another bright left-sided full-back. After all, Cesar Azpilicueta already occupies that space and Rahman has had very little game time thus far.
But Azpilicueta looks set to move to his natural position at right-back with Branislav Ivanovic, who is in the last year of his contract, likely to be sacrificed.
The Serbian has been found wanting a number of times already this season and was dropped to the bench for Chelsea's 4-0 Champions League victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv last night.