Chelsea is plotting a move for Juventus star Miralem Pjanic this summer, reports say.
The Blues are set for a busy summer with the impending exit of Antonio Conte and the appointment of a new head coach.
Maurizio Sarri is expected to take over from Conte and is familiar with Serie A having spent his entire managerial career in Italy.
Pjanic is considered one of the best midfielders in Serie A, but Juventus are willing to sell the 28-year-old to raise funds for other transfers.
Italian publication Corriere Dello Sports claim Barcelona had been leading the race to sign Pjanic, but will now face competition from Chelsea. Juventus value Pjanic at £70million and Barcelona want the Bosnia and Herzegovina international to replace Andres Iniesta.
The club legend left Barcelona at the end of last season and the La Liga champions then missed out on their top target Antoine Griezmann.
But, Chelsea wants Pjanic to rival Cesc Fabregas and eventually take over from the talented 31-year-old. Fabregas is an integral part of Chelsea’s squad but was rotated in and out of Conte’s side during last season.
Of the 36 appearances, Fabregas made in the Premier League last season, 25 of those were starts and Chelsea are hopeful Pjanic will be able to challenge the Spaniard.
Chelsea will push ahead with their transfer plans and often do their business separate from their manager, but Sarri will have a chance to pick out the targets he would prefer.
The Blues have been linked with several Serie A stars in the past month including Mauro Icardi and Dries Mertens.
Senegal defender might have just accidentally announced the new Chelsea manager
Senegal surprised everyone with a dominant performance over Poland in their first group game of the World Cup last night.
Kalidou Koulibaly led by example in defense, while Idrissa Gueye’s energy in midfield was a nightmare for Poland and Sadio Mané was a constant threat.
Speaking to talkSPORT after the win, Koulibaly was asked about his former Napoli boss, Maurizio Sarri, was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti only a few weeks ago.
Sarri has been strongly linked with the Chelsea job, under the assumption that Antonio Conte will leave this summer.
Koulibaly seemed to confirm that Sarri would be the next Chelsea coach before any official announcement was made, and spoke highly of the Italian.
“They [Chelsea] can expect nice football because he is a very good coach.
“I’m disappointed that he leaves like this but we have now a big coach [Carlo Ancelotti]. We know we can win something with him.
“I hope he will win something with Chelsea because he’s a nice coach”, the Senegalese defender said.
“When a coach like this comes he needs time. So I think they have to give him time because he will change the football of Chelsea, I think.
“At Napoli we enjoyed it very much as players and the supporters enjoyed it very much. At Chelsea I think it will be the same.”
Koulibaly has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the past, and it sounds like he could be persuaded to follow Sarri to Chelsea this summer.