Chelsea are interested in versatile Athletic Bilbao midfielder Oscar De Marcos and have made a €35 million (£31.5 million) offer for him according to Spanish newspaper El Desmarque.
The Blues are in a rebuilding process under Antonio Conte and are expected to be active in the January market as the Italian trainer looks to get the West London club into the Premier League title race.
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De Marcos has been on the San Mames outfit’s books since 2009 and has made over 200 La Liga appearances for the Basque outfit.
The 27-year-old can feature as an all-action midfielder or as a full-back and as such his addition would give Conte plenty of options.
The report suggests that Bilbao will spurn Chelsea’s advances for their former Spain under-21 player but that he has a €40 million (£36 million) release clause in his current contract.
Given the Basque club’s strict transfer rulings, they have been stubborn when selling players in the past and have forced suitors to pay their stars’ release clauses rather than negotiating.
Although a centre-half appears to be Chelsea’s priority in the transfer market, a new midfielder to freshen up the Premier League side’s options may well also be on the cards in the new year.
Given that the Blues look likely to persist with three centre-halves, De Marcos could also be added to bolster the number of players able to feature in the right wing-back role.