Chelsea could reportedly save themselves £80million or more in the transfer market as they pursue the signing of Bayern Munich star David Alaba.
The Austria international is nearing the end of his contract with Bayern and looks increasingly likely to leave the Allianz Arena on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Chelsea are among the clubs being strongly linked with Alaba, who has also been targeted by the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool, according to various reports.
The Blues, however, could now see Alaba as a bargain alternative to West Ham’s Declan Rice, according to the Daily Star.
Rice has long been linked with Chelsea after impressing with the Hammers, and is expected to command a fee of at least £80m in the near future, though one imagines his value could continue to rise.
Alaba can also play defensive midfield and centre-back, however, so Chelsea could now turn to him as a free signing next summer.
This could be smart business by the west London giants, though some might argue Rice would be more of a worthwhile long-term investment.
Rice is only 21 years of age and surely has many of his best years ahead of him, while Alaba will be 29 next season and might have already peaked.