Chelsea have had a £30million bid for Alessio Romagnoli rejected by AC Milan, according to Sky Italy.
The Blues are on the hunt for a defender and are having to consider alternatives to their prime target Kalidou Koulibaly, who looks to be staying at Napoli.
Antonio Conte tried to tempt the Senegal international to Stamford Bridge with a club record £60million bid, but after Napoli turned that down, attentions have now shifted to Romagnoli.
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So far, Chelsea aren't having much better luck on that front. Milan don't want the 21-year-old to leave and their official line is that they won't sell him in the current transfer window.
The former Roma man has been identified as a possible long-term replacement for John Terry, who is approaching the end of his playing days despite somehow earning another one-year contract for the current season.
All the same, Conte is a pragmatist and will be well aware that the ex-England captain needs to be used sparingly.
Conte on Chelsea
That leaves Chelsea with a shortage at the back and even without European football, that could become a big issue as the season wears on.
"If you look now at our squad, we have only five defenders - four that started today (against Watford) and an academy player Ola Aina," said Conte.
"If one defender is injured or banned, then we are in trouble, but the club and me we know this and we are talking every day to improve the squad."
Who should Chelsea sign in defence? Have your say in the comments.
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