The Blues are desperate for defensive recruitment.
In a surprise move Chelsea are preparing to swoop in and sign Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen this summer with the defender looking to leave the Emirates Stadium.
CaughtOffside understands that the Belgium international is disillusioned in north London due to a lack of game time and wants to be sold, with Napoli thought to be leading the chase for the 28-year-old.
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Yet the Blues are prepared to offer Vermaelen one last chance in the Premier League as they desperately seek defensive recruitment for next season, but whilst also having one eye on UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rule.
The west Londoners could be without skipper John Terry and Ashley Cole come next campaign, with both of the veterans’ current contracts at Stamford Bridge expiring at the end of this current term.
Both are among the highest earners at the club and with the side needing to reduce the wage bill, are unwilling to offer either new deals.
Vermaelen’s ability to play at both centre-back and left-back makes the Belgian the ideal squad player in this scenario and his transfer fee and wage demands are likely to be relatively modest.
This would free up the required funds for manager Jose Mourinho to spend big to improve another problem area for the side – their strike force.
The No.1 target is Atletico Madrid top-scorer Diego Costa, but the 25-year-old will cost in excess of £32m and the UEFA will clamp down hard if Chelsea breach the FFP this season.
With Vermaelen settled in London the defender would also favour a move to the Bridge, although whether the Gunners would sell to their rivals remains a problem area.