Real Madrid are reportedly ready to speed up the sale of James Rodriguez in order to make space for the expected arrival of Real Betis sensation Dani Ceballos. The news could be a boost for Chelsea with AS reporting that the Blues are prepared to make an offer to beat Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain for the services of the Colombia international.
Ceballos has emerged as a top target for Real after the 20-year-old impressed during the recent Under 21 European Championships, being named the player of the tournament as Spain finished as runners-up to eventual winners Germany.
AS suggested last week that the Los Blancos were in advanced negotiations to complete his signing upon the tournament ending by meeting his €15m (£13.1m, $17m) release clause.
Zinedine Zidane planned to sign him this summer and send him back to Betis for the 2017-2018 season to ensure his development is not stunted.
However, Real have been forced to alter those plans after Barcelona joined the race to acquire the promising midfielder.
The Catalans offered Ceballos an immediate place in Ernesto Valverde's first-team in order to convince the player to snub a switch to Real and move to the Nou Camp. AS claims that Real, the 12-time European champions, have reacted by promising Ceballos a place in Zidane's squad ahead of the upcoming campaign.
The Spanish publication suggests that Real are therefore back in the pole position to secure his services and the agreement will be completed in the coming days for around €15m – with Betis expecting to get some players on loan as part of the deal.
AS claim that Zidane has consequently asked Real to accelerate the exit of James as the arrival of Ceballos will leave him with an overbook in the midfield.
In this sense, the Spanish publications claims James' next destiny remains uncertain but Chelsea appear to be a likely candidate to get his services. AS points out that Antonio Conte already tried to lure James to Chelsea during the January transfer window following the departure of Oscar to China.
The report says that the Blues are prepared to revive that interest as Diego Costa's expected departure to Atletico Madrid will give them fresh money to spend. AS says that United are also keen on James but Real are unlikely to sell both him and Alvaro Morata to Old Trafford in the same summer.
Meanwhile, PSG have emerged as the third possible candidate to sign James but AS believes that his move to the Ligue 1 side would only be possible if Angel Di Maria leaves the club.