Chelsea have reportedly switched their attention to Torino defender Nikola Maksimovic.
Antonio Conte has been chasing Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly but have failed to agree a fee for the Senegal international.
And with Chelsea still looking for defensive reinforcement, 24-year-old Maksimovic – dubbed the ‘new Nemanja Vidic’ – is being targeted.
According to the Daily Mail, Napoli are also chasing the Serb, but the Blues are willing to offer more than the £21.5million proposed by the Serie A giants.
Maksimovic has boycotted training at Torino as he aims to force a move away from the club.
The exciting defender was also scouted by Manchester United previously but the Old Trafford outfits failed to strike a deal after few ambitious attempts.
While Napoli are keen, Torino are apparently more interested in letting the defender leave for England.
“It’s not just Napoli who want Maksimovic, but also a big club from abroad,” Torino’s director of sports Gianluca Petrachi told Italian outlet Mediaset Premium.
“It is an English club and the Premier League does have greater financial resources than other Leagues.”
Chelsea have turned to Maksimovic with Koulibaly having been offered a new contract at Napoli, although the centre-half is yet to agree to it.
Ex-Juventus boss Conte wants a new defender from Serie A, and Maksimovic’s traits are seen as suited for the Premier League.
Maksimovic has made 76 appearances for Torino since making his debut for the Serie A outfit back in 2013 but the 24-year-old is now desperate for a move away from Torino.
The Torino defender has drawn comparisons with compatriot Nemanja Vidic and it’s easy to see why: his physicality and comfort on the ball ensure the similarities don’t end at nationality.
Maksimovic could even claim to have the upper hand over his celebrated countryman, having settled in Serie A with far more ease than Vidic did during his injury-plagued spell at Inter.