Chelsea are preparing a move in signing Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane in the summer, according to the London Evening Standard.
The French international has long been on the Blues manager Jose Mourinho's radar as the Portuguese tactician is an admirer of the centre-back. He signed the defender during his time at the Spanish capital club.
The west London club were keen on adding Varane to their squad last summer, only to be rejected by the 10-times European champions. The 21-year-old signed a new deal, which will keep him at Santiago Bernabeu until 2020.
The centre-half has seen his first team appearances limited this season as he has fallen down the pecking order, behind Pepe and Sergio Ramos. Chelsea have John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma as the first choice central defenders in the squad.
The Blues skipper's contract at Stamford Bridge runs down at the end of the season and Terry is likely to be handed a new one-year deal. He has a few years of top flight football left, leaving Mourinho to find a replacement for the Chelsea star.
The 52-year-old manager has identified Varane as a replacement for Terry. Mourinho has set his sights on re-uniting with the defender at Stamford Bridge and is planning to sign him after the end of the season.
Former Real star Zinedine Zidane has urged Varane not to leave the La Liga giants and suggested his compatriot is a very important player for Carlo Ancelotti's side.
"There are a lot of players out there, but I'm really happy for Varane. He's a fantastic player and is Real's future. He has to be patient [to get first-team football]. Always staying patient is hugely important," Zidane told Marca.
Meanwhile, Varane has also admitted that he is happy in Madrid and is targeting to win the league and the Champions League with Real.
"My future? I'm with Real Madrid at 100% and we will continue to work with the club. I am happy here and I have a contract until 2020," Varnae said.
"The goal this season is to win the league and the Champions League. These are two important goals for us. There are a lot of determination and motivation in the dressing room."