Chelsea have made tentative enquiries about Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng.
The Premier League champions’ primary target Virgil van Dijk has been probably overpriced by Southampton as the Saints maintain they want more than £50million for the Dutch centre-back.
As talks continue with Southampton, who are expected to sack manager Claude Puel soon, Chelsea are weighing up other options.
The blues have question marks over the future of Nathan Ake, who is a target for Bournemouth, and Kurt Zouma, who is wanted on loan by Marseille. They want at least one new centre-back while Antonio Conte will also assess the returning Andreas Christensen to see if he can go straight into his first team squad.
Boateng is unsure about his place in the Bayern Munich first team next season following the arrival of Niklas Sule from Hoffenheim and on the back of a campaign that was hindered by injury.
The 28-year-old is in no rush to leave but may be tempted if Chelsea follow up their early soundings.
Asked if he will play for Bayern next season, Boateng told SportBild: ‘I don’t have anything else planned. There’s only a few clubs in the world with the appeal and tradition of Bayern Munich.
‘I didn’t play much so it’s normal that I’m not entirely happy,’ he added. ‘Now I’ve just picked up this unfortunate injury against Freiburg. I’ll use the off-season to be fit to begin preparations for the new season.’
Chelsea want a wing-back, midfielder, winger and another striker plus a back-up goalkeeper with Asmir Begovic expected to join Bournemouth.
They are discussing a new contract with Diego Costa which is understood to be worth around £13million a year though they are still to reach an agreement with Nemanja Matic who is also a target for Manchester United.