Chelsea have begun negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain to sign Presnel Kimpembe as Thomas Tuchel looks to reinforce his back-line even further, according to reports.
The west London club confirmed the £45m signing of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City on Wednesday and are now putting all their effort into strengthening a defence that was weakened over the summer.
EAntonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both left on free transfers – for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively – with Tuchel keen to sign three new centre-backs to replace them.
A deal for Kalidou Koulibaly is now at an advanced stage, with Chelsea having already agreed a fee worth around £33.8m with Napoli.
The Senegal international has been given permission to fly to London – where he touched down on Wednesday – and will shortly jet to Los Angeles to undergo a medical and link up with his team-mates before the deal is made official.
But Koulibaly will not be the only big-name defender heading to Stamford Bridge this month, with the club pushing hard to bring in both Nathan Ake and Kimpembe.
A deal for Ake has been in the works for some time and the Blues are confident of re-signing their former academy player for around £40m by the end of next week.
According to The Athletic, co-owner Todd Boehly – who is currently acting as interim sporting director – has also now opened discussions with PSG over Kimpembe.
Negotiations are not yet at an advanced stage but the French club are open to selling the 26-year-old defender if their valuation is met.
So far that has not happened, with another report from The Independent claiming that PSG have set a price tag of €50m (£42m) plus €10m (£8.5m) in bonuses.
That would make Kimpembe more expensive than both Koulibaly and Ake, and would likely make him Chelsea’s most expensive signing of the summer window.
Tuchel is keen to be reunited with the Frenchman – who he coached in Paris – and is attracted to his versatility, with Kimpembe able to play in a number of positions in the back three; Ake, by contrast, is seen mainly as a left-sided centre-back.
Chelsea are not the only team interested in signing Kimpembe, however, with Juventus also making contact with PSG as they look for a replacement for Matthijs de Ligt.