Chelsea's hopes of signing Juventus left-back Alex Sandro have been given a major boost amid reports suggesting the player is now ready to leave the Serie A champions.
Blues boss Antonio Conte was keen to bring the Brazil international to Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window with Juventus confirming in June they had received a "substantial" offer for the left-back.
That offer was said to be worth £55m ($73.9m), some way short of the £80m the Bianconeri demanded. Juventus were then ready to offer the Brazil international a new contract, as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport in October, with terms that would have matched those offered by Chelsea in the summer.
But plans to keep Sandro at the club in the long-term would now appear to have fallen by the wayside. The Daily Telegraph now report the 26-year-old has informed the hierarchy in Turin that he is unhappy – a development which could see the club forced to lower their demands for the player to just £50m.
While Sandro did not attempt to force his way out during the summer transfer window, the report adds that could change in the New Year.
Juventus themselves have added weight to those claims with the club's director general Giuseppe Marotta explaining they will sell any player who asks to leave.
"We have said many times that when a player asks to be sold, regardless of prestige or importance within the team, we are in favour of a sale," he told Mediaset Premium, as reported by Football Italia. "When a player is unsatisfied, it is better to let him go."
Sandro's form has dipped this season and he was omitted from the starting XI as Juventus secured a narrow victory away to Napoli last Friday, with Kwadwo Asamoah selected ahead of him.
Referring to Sandro's struggles, Marotta added: "In the case of Alex Sandro, he was in full agreement with the idea of remaining with us. His performances are down to his own personal issues that we won't go into here."
Juventus' decision whether to cash in on their player in January will likely depend on whether they find a suitable replacement during the winter window with the club currently considering Porto full-back Alex Telles.
Chelsea will be keen to strengthen their squad further in January however after Conte's frustrations in the summer that saw him miss out on a number of targets, including Everton's Ross Barkley. The England international decided against a move to Stamford Bridge at the very last minute despite the clubs agreeing a £35m transfer fee and despite that late snub, the Blues plan to push once more for his signing in the New Year.