CHELSEA want to sign Juventus star Alex Sandro – who was on the brink of a move to Manchester United in the summer.
Chelsea fear they’ll be slapped with a transfer ban by FIFA and are getting ready to splash the cash ahead of any punishment.
The game’s governing body are threatening sanctions after an investigation into the purchase of under-age foreign players for the club’s academy.
Up to £200m could be spent by manager Maurizio Sarri as he looks to get top talent on board ahead of a ban which could span FOUR transfer windows.
The Sunday Express report they are now ready to go head-to-head with Manchester United and Manchester City for Sandro.
The Juventus left-back appeared close to a move to Old Trafford in the summer but no deal went through.
And Chelsea could pounce in January by putting £50m on the table for the Brazilian.
Journalist Duncan Castles revealed in the summer that United were working on a deal for Sandro.
Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast, he said: “Alex Sandro they have progressed to the point that Juventus expect him to go to the club, and he’s one of the players Juventus are prepared to sacrifice.
“They think they can get a fee in the region of €60m (£52.5m) for him, and Alex Sandro wants to leave.”
He also said on the show: “They’ve put a deal in place with the player, the player wants to come, and Juventus are holding out for upwards of €60m (£53m).”
In the end no deal was done, with Manchester United drafting in just three players during the summer.
Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant all pitched up at Old Trafford, as manager Jose Mourinho was left frustrated that the centre-back he was after never arrived.
Luke Shaw has since signed a new long-term contract at United, meaning there may no longer be room on the books for Sandro to join too.
Manchester City may be a more likely rival for Sandro’s signature, with star left-back Benjamin Mendy ruled out following surgery on his knee.
It’s unclear how long the Frenchman will be out for. Pep Guardiola has Fabian Delph, Danilo and Oleksandr Zinchenko available as potential stand-ins, but Sandro would be a like-for-like option to replace the attack-minded Mendy.