Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been vocal in his desire to sign a new defender before the transfer window closes and a host of centre-halves have been linked with a move to the Stamford Bridge club.

With the final hours of the window closing in, time is running out for the Blues to add an extra option at the heart of their rearguard.

Advances for the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli have been made difficult by Napoli and AC Milan, who are holding onto their star enforcers.

However, a move for another Serie A defender that looks able to be completed in the last 24 hours could well be defining in the space of Chelsea’s season.

Lazio centre-half Stefan de Vrij has been mentioned as a player Conte admires after the Dutchman’s impressive performances for the capital city side.

The Stadio Olimpico side will surely be keen to hold onto the former Feyenoord defender but a big offer to tempt the Italian side to sell is likely to be successful.

Physically dominant, able on the ball and with good positioning and reading of the game, De Vrij would be an excellent – and attainable – late signing for Chelsea.

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