Chelsea are ready to rival Manchester United for the biggest spend on an individual player this summer after making a huge move for Real Madrid's James Rodriguez.
Zinedine Zidane has been adamant that Rodriguez would not be sold at any stage this summer but if you believe Spanish publication Sport, the Madrid boss might be fighting a losing battle.
Antonio Conte's side have reportedly opened talks with the star's representatives over a possible move thought to be in the region of €70 million.
Zidane has been unable to make any serious additions to his squad since they won the Champions League in May - with the exception of Alvaro Morata's return - and has been told that a big player may need to leave before someone else can be brought in.
Rodriguez has struggled to cement a first-team place since moving to Spain two years ago so it would be understandable if Madrid are prepared to take a hit on the Colombian to strengthen another area of the squad.
The rise of Marco Asensio and Zidane's personal preference for Isco has pushed the ex-Monaco star even further down the pecking order in the Spanish capital.
President Florentino Perez remains reluctant to let the 25-year-old so there is still a very good chance any deal with Chelsea will collapse before it really takes off. Nevertheless, Madrid have no interest in receiving any players in exchange for their prized asset.
Chelsea are yet to open official talks with Madrid but have been in contact with Rodriguez's agent.
Conte is still keen to bolster his options at Stamford Bridge after the arrivals of Michy Batshuayi and N'Golo Kante. Their over-reliance on Eden Hazard last season was in part to blame for their disastrous campaign but the signing of Rodriguez would certainly ease the burden on the Belgian star.
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