Chelsea are set to do battle with AC Milan over the signing of young Malmo defender Anel Ahmedhodzic, according to reports.
Chelsea signed centre back Thiago Silva in the summer to provide stability in defence.
The player has had a good start to the season and scored in his most recent match against Sheff Utd.
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However, his age means Blues officials are having to look at long term replacements.
According to Italian outlet Calciomercato (via Goal), that search has led them to Bosnian centre back Ahmedhodzic.
The report claims that the 21-year-old should be available for around £10 million during the January transfer window.
The player is viewed as one of the best young players in the Swedish top flight and could now step up in his career.
His performances have earned him admirers in London as well as in Milan.
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AC Milan retain a strong interest in the player, meaning Chelsea will have to act fast when the next window opens.
If a bidding war starts, the fee could be a lot more than his initial valuation.
Despite this, Ahmedhodzic remains a far cheaper option than Europe’s most well-known young centre backs.
RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano could be the subject of a transfer duel next summer as Man Utd target the player.
Chelsea would also be expected to pay at least £50 million if they wanted to sign Dortmund’s Dan-Axel Zagadou.
That’s left them looking at cheaper alternatives, and Ahmedhodzic could be brought in to provide extra competition in the future.
Manager Frank Lampard can currently call upon Silva, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen.
Silva and Zouma have been the preferred pairing so far. They have looked more assured than Chelsea’s past defences.
The Blues’ current form means they might well have a chance of challenging for the title this season.
They are fifth in the Premier League table on 15 points.