Andrea Ranocchia
Andrea RanocchiaReuters

Chelsea are preparing a move to sign Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia during the January transfer window, according to the Daily Express.

The 25-year-old defender's contract with Inter expires in 2015 and Inter officials are unhappy about his unwillingness to discuss a new deal, the report says.

Chelsea's league rivals Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are also keeping an eye on Ranocchia's situation at Inter. However, the Blues could land the defender in a player swap deal which could see David Luiz go the other way.

Jose Mourinho wants to sign the Italian international as a direct replacement for Luiz who has been on Barcelona's radar in recent times. He has only played in six league games this season. With the 2014 World Cup approaching, the Brazilian international could leave Stamford Bridge in search of first team opportunities to secure a spot in the national team.

Meanwhile, Chelsea skipper John Terry does not have many years in his legs and Mourinho might want to bring in long-term signings to strengthen his back four. The 33-year-old has over six months left on his current deal at the club and he is likely to be awarded with one-year extension.

The Portuguese tactician has the former England international Gary Cahill and Luiz as his options in the central defending role, with Branislav Ivanovic as a makeshift centre-back in the squad.

Inter are not playing in European competitions this season. Ranocchia is not cup-tied and should the Italian defender make a switch to Chelsea in January, he will be eligible to feature in the Champions League.

Chelsea were drawn against Galatasary in the round of 16 which will see their fans' favourite striker Didier Drogba return to the west London club.

The defender has, however, revealed that the rumours linking him with a move to Stamford Bridge are silly and admitted that he is happy with the Italian outfit.

"Chelsea? Many silly things have been written about me, that I am unhappy and I want to leave. It's absolutely not true. I am just thinking about this shirt and paying back the fans for the affection they have for me," Ranocchia told Sky Italia.