Southampton right-back Cedric Soares has been spotted in London amid rumours that Chelsea are closing in on a big-money deal to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
The Premier League champions are known to be in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer, and are believed to have targeted three Southampton stars.
The Blues are hoping to add centre-back Virgil van Dijk, former player Ryan Bertrand and Soares to their squad, and have made an opening £15 million offer for the latter.
Soares is thought to be very keen on joining Chelsea if an agreement can be reached in the coming weeks, and would compete with Victor Moses for a starting spot.
And now the 25-year-old fuelled speculation linking him with a move to west London by sharing pictures of a trip to the capital city over the weekend.
Although they have signed a number of new players already this summer, Antonio Conte is known to want as many as four new faces before deadline day to bolster a very thin squad.
Southampton are likely to resist Chelsea’s approaches for their trio of defenders, however, with the club so far steadfastly refusing to allow Van Dijk to leave despite him submitting a transfer request.
On Van Dijk’s possible exit, Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger insisted: ‘Virgil is not for sale in this window and it’s not personal.
‘It’s not about him, it’s about an overall much, much, much bigger picture – a change of course for Southampton.
‘The first summer I was here five players went out and six went in, not counting academy. Second summer three went out, seven came in, and third summer five went out, five came in. Now it is one out and two in, and this is who we want to become.
‘We want to mature, we want to be a team that can profit from synergies that create a much more attractive football and a better product for the fans, and gives us a chance to get back into Europe.’
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Chelsea fans should forget about Man Utd new boy Matic, Bakayoko is superhuman – Pat Nevin
CHELSEA great Pat Nevin is confident Tiemoue Bakayoko is a huge upgrade on Nemanja Matic.
Chelsea sold Matic to Manchester United in a £40million deal this summer, with Bakayoko coming in as his replacement from Monaco for the same price.
Blues manager Antonio Conte has been heavily criticised for selling the 29-year-old, who was crucial in last season’s title success.
But Nevin reckons brining in “superhuman” Bakayoko, at six years younger than Matic, is a great piece of business.
Bakayoko made his Chelsea debut on Sunday in the 2-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley, making his return from a knee operation during the summer.
Nevin told the club’s website: “Nemanja Matic has gone and has made a fine start at United, so well done him.
“He did a great job for this club and we are grateful for that. Many were quick to suggest it was a mistake to let him go.
“But if Tiemoue is as good, he is also crucially six years younger and that counts for a great deal when you are building a squad.
“His energy levels on the day were bordering on superhuman considering the lack of training and match fitness.
“You can only guess at what else he will have to offer in the future when you see him striding away from top players who are many weeks, or even months, ahead of him in their season’s fitness regimes.”