Chelsea are reportedly monitoring Manchester United target Juan Bernat, as manager Jose Mourinho considers the Spanish left-back as a better alternative to Southampton's Luke Shaw, should long-serving defender Ashley Cole leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
Bernat has proved to be a sensation in La Liga this season, scoring one goal and grabbing two assits in 16 La Liga starts. He has earned comparisons with Barcelona star Jordi Alba. Both began their careers in Valencia ranks as wingers and are currently excelling as full-backs.
Manchester United manager David Moyes has reportedly earmarked him as Patrice Evra's replacement, with the Frenchman set to leave Old Trafford once his contract expires at the end of the current campaign.
Spanish newspaper Super Deporte recently claimed Moyes sent a scout to Mestalla Stadium to watch Bernat closely during his side's 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao.
The same Valencia-based newspaper reports that Chelsea are also in the race to sign Bernat, as Mourinho is looking to bolster his squad with a left-back.
Cole's contract at Stamford Bridge is due to expire in the summer and having been displaced as first-choice left-back behind Cesar Azpilicueta this season his future at Stamford Bridge looks uncertain.
Mourinho's first choice is Southampton starlet Shaw, but with his club unlilely to accept a deal below £30m the Portuguese boss may consider Bernat a cheaper alternative.
The 21-year-old is under contract at Valencia until 2015, leaving the Spanish side with a choice of selling him for less than his £20m release clause at the end of the season or letting go for free the following summer.
However, should Chelsea decide to bid for Bernat they will have to grapple with Manchester United.
Moyes is even more desperate for a left-back and Bernat is reportedly on a short-list of players that also includes Real Madrid star Fabio Coentrao, Atletico Madrid's Filipe Luis and Luke Shaw.