Chelsea are reportedly in direct talks with Sevilla to sign Jules Kounde this summer.
The Frenchman has been identified as their prime central defensive target, and they are weighing up a fresh move.
Earlier last month, the Blues offered €35m plus Kurt Zouma, but the La Liga outfit rejected the proposal.
Kounde’s release clause has since increased from €80m to €90m, but he could be available for less up front.
Sevilla are prepared to sell him for €65-70m alongside performance based add-ons.
As per Fabrizio Romano, the Blues are engaging in direct negotiations with Sevilla without intermediaries.
They are planning a new offer soon as Sevilla won’t entertain any bids towards the final days of the window.
In order to facilitate the move, the Blues are actively looking to offload Zouma from their ranks.
The Frenchman would ideally prefer to stay in the English capital rather than move to another league.
West Ham United are the most interested in signing him for the reported €30m price tag.
However, there are doubts whether they could meet Zouma’s hefty wage demands of €145,000-a-week.
London rivals Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with a surprise move for his services.