Chelsea Consider Azpilicueta Alternative
Spain's Azpilicueta dribbles upfield past Morocco's Fettouhi in their football match in men's Group D at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Old Trafford in Manchester

European champions Chelsea have reportedly begun scouting and considering other targets in their search to fill the right back position at Stamford Bridge. The Blues, who released 29 year old Portuguese international Jose Bosingwa earlier this summer, were strongly linked to Italian club Inter Milan's Brazilian right back Maicon earlier in the summer and with French club Olympique Marseille's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta in recent weeks.

The race for the Brazilian's signature was compounded by news that Spanish champions Real Madrid were also interested. The marauding right back formed a profitable partnership with present Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, when the Portuguese was in charge of Inter, and was reportedly eager to renew that relationship at the Santiago Bernabeu. reported the 31 year old turned down an offer from French club Paris St Germain (PSG) and was waiting for word from either Madrid or Chelsea. It was understood the defender could be available for a fee in the region of £8m.

Unfortunately for the Blues, the campaign to sign Marseille's Azpilicueta has been no less problematic, with the two clubs struggling to agree a transfer fee. The player himself is reportedly eager for the chance to play at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were also reported as interested in Ajax's Dutch defender Gregory van der Wiel and Lille's Mathieu Debuchy but have run into opposition from Real Madrid and Newcastle United, respectively.

Meanwhile, should Azpilicueta not be a viable target, a report by the Mirror suggests Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo will turn his attention to Italian champions Juventus' Swiss right back, Stephan Lichtsteiner. The 28 year old international spent three years playing for Serie A club Lazio before joining the Turin club last summer. The report indicates Chelsea have had the player scouted and he could be available for about £5m.

In addition, the Blues have reportedly also signed 18 year old Brazilian Wallace from Fluminense but that is believed to be a long-term acquisition rather than an immediate answer to the first team position. Wallace was valued at £5m too and was also interesting Juventus and Napoli. However, this transfer is still subject to confirmation from both clubs.