Chelsea have switched their focus towards acquiring Raphael Varane's services from Real Madrid to replace David Luiz who will join Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), according to the Guardian.
The Ligue 1 champions have successfully negotiated a move for the Brazilian international when the transfer window opens next month. The report claims that the Blues' manager Jose Mourinho wants to test the Spanish capital outfit's intentions to retain Varane on their books.
The centre-back has played a vastly peripheral role at Santiago Bernabeu this season and suffered from a knee injury in November last year keeping him out of action till February. He has made just 14 La Liga appearances for Carlo Ancelotti's side this season and is down the pecking order behind centre-backs Sergio Ramos and Pepe.
The French International, who featured 33 times in all competitions during the 2012/13 season when Mourinho was in charge of the nine-time European champions, is reportedly considering the approach made by the Portuguese tactician, fearing lack of opportunities in the upcoming campaign.
Earlier this year, Ancelotti had issued a hands-off warning to his Chelsea counterpart amid rumours that Chelsea are keen on triggering the £25m release clause in Varane's contract.
In his second spell at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho has preferred the English duo of John Terry and Gary Cahill as his regular first choice players, the heart of his back four. The former England international recently penned a one-year extension but his future at Stamford Bridge looks uncertain beyond the end of next season.
Meanwhile, Mourinho will also have Tomas Kalas and Kurt Zouma alongside the versatile Branislav Ivanovic from his current squad to the already existing stars vying for a place at centre-back.
Zouma will join his new teammates in the summer after spending the season on loan at St Etienne since agreeing a move to Chelsea last January.
Despite having a plethora of talent available at his disposal, the 51-year-old manager remains an admirer of Varane's skills.
Mourinho heaped praise on the Frenchman, lauding him as the best young central defender in the world. Meanwhile, a report by the Daily Express claims that the former Inter Milan boss is looking to launch a £20m bid for the defender.
Luiz's transfer to PSG will see Chelsea land a reported sum of £50m, a major chunk of which looks likely to be utilised in signing Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid during the summer transfer window.