Stamford Bridge want Stadio Olimpico talisman.
Chelsea will make a £15million bid for Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi to replace Michael Essien, who will the first six months of the season through injury.
The 27-year-old could be available at the bargain price because he has only one year left on his contract, and Roma do not want to lose him for nothing in 12 months.
The Italian international is regarded as one of the best midfielders in Europe and is reportedly keen on a switch to the Premier League.
Manchester United are keeping tabs on him too but would prefer a move for Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder or Tottenham’s Luka Modric.
Chelsea have been strongly linked with a move for the World Cup winner and see him as the ideal replacement for Essien, who has injured his cruciate ligaments in pre-season training.
At the moment, John Obi Mikel is the only cover in the Blues’ squad and manager Andre Villas-Boas is keen to strengthen given Essien’s lengthy absence.
De Rossi is adamant he will not sign a new deal as he looks to leave Rome, after his father-in-law was murdered in 2008 and he became victim of a blackmail campaign earlier this year.