Chelsea are reportedly closing in on a move for Ajax youngster Riechedly Bazoer as they look to beat Barcelona to the starlet's signature. Meanwhile, the Blues are also said to be eyeing Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin.
According to Tomas Andreu of Spanish daily Sport, Chelsea are looking to lure the 19-year-old to England's capital, but Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has already been to watch Bazoer in action this term.
Andreu also cited reports in Bazoer's native Holland, which claimed the central midfielder could be available for €20 million (£15.5 million), a figure Ajax would find "impossible" to reject.
FourFourTwo writer Elko Born recently commented on Bazoer as the best player currently in manager Frank de Boer's Ajax squad, a sign of how much he's impressed since making his first-team debut in October 2014:
Elko Born @Elko_B
@4rn4n Bazoer! Going to go very far in his career. Kenny Tete comes in second place. After those two, I like El Ghazi and Klaassen.2016-2-8 09:55:04
Interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink may have contacts in Amsterdam, but it most likely wouldn't actually be the Dutchman and former Netherlands manager in charge of the club's summer transfer activity.
Interest in Bazoer will have also picked up following his recent surge in scoring form, netting three goals in his last six Eredivisie outings for Ajax. They've all been tide-turning contributions, too, according to OptaJohan:
3 - Each of Riechedly Bazoer's last three league goals meant the winning goal for @AFCAjax. Charm.2016-2-7 13:22:10
Chelsea's midfield hasn't presented the same, polished finish this season as it did during the title-winning campaign of 2014-15. Plus, there's a space to be filled following Ramires' January departure for Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning.
The Premier League titans could find their resolve tested as they chase the playmaker, though, as Bazoer himself has commented on his dream of one day representing the Blaugrana, per Dutch outlet Helden (h/t Goal.com's Peter McVitie):
I hope I can leave in two or three years to join my dream club Barcelona. That tiki-taka style of football suits me. At the moment, I am not scoring enough goals, but I'm working on that. I must become even more important for the team.
My ultimate dream is to pull my car up at Barcelona in five years and win trophies. Hopefully everyone knows me by then.
In defence, it's been reported the Blues will look to Atletico Madrid centre-back Godin as a replacement for the departing John Terry at the end of this season.
That's according to Spanish newspaper AS, which claimed Kurt Zouma's six-month injury layoff has also influenced Chelsea's decision to enter the market for another top-class central defender (h/t Jack Staplehurst of the Daily Express).
The west Londoners signed United States international Matt Miazga from the New York Red Bulls in January, but Zouma's knee injury has intensified the need to add more defensive options at Stamford Bridge.
Godin played a crucial role in Atleti's 2014 La Liga title win, and Staplehurst added Los Rojiblancos already rejected a £28.1 million offer from Manchester City for their defender last year.