Chelsea are lining up a January swoop for Napoli right-back Elseid Hysaj, to replace the out-of-favour Davide Zappacosta.
According to The Telegraph, Serie A giants Lazio are interested in signing Zappacosta, who has only managed to feature in two Premier League matches this season, which could clear the way for the Blues to sign Hysaj.
The Albanian worked with Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri while he was in charge at Napoli and the Italian even tried to lure him to Stamford Bridge with him during the 2018 summer window.
Hysaj is one of Napoli’s most reliable and efficient players, a fixture in the starting XI and at 24-years-old, still capable of developing and enhancing his already sterling reputation in the game.
Chelsea are one of the Premier League’s biggest clubs and he might relish the prospect of experiencing a new European league, having spent the last eight years of his career in Italy.
Meanwhile, Zappacosta is probably craving a switch to his homeland, having fallen way down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge in recent months as Sarri has opted to use a 4-3-3 system without wing-backs – essentially rendering him as deadweight left behind from Antonio Conte’s reign at the club.
Cesar Azpilicueta occupies the right-back role for Chelsea at the moment but should Hysaj come in during the January window he could provide some serious competition, especially given his links to Sarri.
The Blues are currently fourth in the Premier League, with three cup competitions still to play for over the second half of the season and they will need to rely on their squad depth to maintain their challenge for silverware over the coming months.
Hysaj would be a shrewd purchase for the club and help to reinforce their defensive line, which has looked shaky at times this term, while Zappacosta might experience a career revival if he can force through a move to Lazio.