Chelsea are interested in signing Luka Modric from Real Madrid, according to The Sun. The 27-year-old joined the Spanish champions in the summer but has failed to establish himself in Jose Mourinho's squad, leading to speculation he might be prepared to return to England at the end of the present campaign. The Sun believes £22m will be enough for the Santiago Bernabeu club to release the Croatian international, who joined them for a reported £30m.

Luka Modric
Luka Modric is linked with a move to England in recent times Reuters

The Blues' owner, Roman Abramovich, is unlikely to be pleased at having missed out on Brazilian forward Taison. The 24-year-old South American was believed to be close to a move to west London before Ukrainian club Metalist Kharkiv sold him to local rivals Shakthar Donetsk.

The Russian billionaire is a long-term admirer of Modric, having tried to sign him in each of the last two summers. The bargain signing of Senegal striker Demba Ba is unlikely to be the end of Chelsea's winter transfer activities, particularly with veteran Frank Lampard's future settled.

Modric joined Madrid with high expectations but the eastern European playmaker has failed to dislodge the likes of Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira from their midfield positions. He has made only eight starts in La Liga this season. Overall, he has made only 24 appearances for the club and has just one goal and one assist to his name.

There was also a report that both Manchester clubs were interested in Modric, with Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini believed to be personally monitoring the situation in the Spanish capital.

Terry to Return against Stoke

John Terry
John Terry has been sidelined since the league fixture against Liverpool in November. Reuters

Meanwhile, Chelsea skipper John Terry is set to return for the weekend clash against Stoke City. The 32-year-old ex-England international has been out with a knee problem but did play 45 minutes with the U21 side earlier in the week.

"He [Terry] played yesterday. He was okay. He has been training today. He is in the squad. It's good news for us. He has been out for 16 weeks," interim manager Rafael Benitez said.