Premier League leaders Chelsea are prepared to lodge an attempt to re-sign former graduate Ryan Bertrand from Southampton. The 27-year-old has transformed into a top quality left-back at St.Mary’s, and this recently earned him a recall to the England national setup.
Bertrand was due to make a huge impression at Stamford Bridge after the Blues decided to let Ashley Cole leave on a free in the summer of 2014.
However, the England prospect failed to convince Jose Mourinho that he was the right man for the job, and was, in turn, loaned out to Southampton with Cesar Azpilicueta and Felipe Luis sharing the duties on the left side of the defence.
In the summer which followed, Bertrand was allowed to complete his permanent move to the South Coast for a £10m sum despite Luis having opted for a return to Atletico Madrid during the same period.
The Blues have since moved on from their manager with Antonio Conte taking over the reigns last summer.
The Italian has preferred to switch Azpilicueta to the right side of a three-man backline while Marcos Alonso has earned the left wing-back position shortly after his deadline day arrival from Fiorentina last year.
According to The London Evening Standard, Conte is prepared to launch a transfer approach for Bertrand following his impressive campaign under Claude Puel this term.
Bertrand played a key part in the Saints’ run to the EFL Cup finals where they eventually lost to Manchester United by a 3-2 scoreline and his displays have also impressed national team boss Gareth Southgate.
The former Blues ace appeared in both internationals against Germany and Lithuania during the international break, and he will be hoping to hold onto his place ahead of Tottenham’s Danny Rose, who remains the first-choice on his return to full fitness.
Southampton are expected to pay hardball in discussions over their key players, and Chelsea will have to pay up a fee in excess £25m in order to prise away the left-back, who only inked a fresh five-year deal last summer.
Alonso has made the left wing-back position his own this campaign, but he could face potential competition next term with Chelsea having the added pressure of a European competition.
Chelsea currently hold a seven-point lead over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the league standings following a surprise 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.