Chelsea have made Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez their number one defender target this summer, Football Insider has learned.
The 25-year-old is seen as the man to solve the London-club’s defensive problems after negotiations with West Ham stalled regarding the signing of Declan Rice.
A source at Stamford Bridge has told Football Insider that Chelsea hope to sign Gimenez, who has a release clause of £110million, for around £60million.
He has made 26 appearances so far this season having struggled with numerous injury problems over the past 12 months.
Regardless, Frank Lampard is ready to make a move for the Uruguay international as soon as Atletico complete their participation in the Champions League.
The Spanish side face RB Leipzig in the quarter-final next Thursday with the final of Europe’s most prestigious competition scheduled for the 23rd of this month.
London rivals West Ham have dug their heels in over their valuation of Rice after multiple attempts by Chelsea to broker a deal.
Football Insider revealed last month that the Hammers would sell their prize asset but only for £80million in cash.
One of Chelsea’s offers involved one or more of Fikayo Tomori, Kurt Zouma and Michy Batshuayi in exchange for the 21-year-old.
He has been utilised predominantly as a holding midfielder by David Moyes but it is understood that Lampard sees him as a centre-half.
Rice, who has four years remaining on his contract at the London Stadium, did not miss a single minute of Premier League action last season.
However, it looks as if he may miss out on a move to Stamford Bridge this summer with Chelsea’s attention now turned to Gimenez.
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