Jose Mourinho is likely to test the resolve of his former club by making a raid this summer for Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Real Madrid are ready to pay £15 million for the 27-year-old and Chelsea have not ruled out doing a deal as long as the Spanish giants are prepared to meet their own £20m valuation, The Sun reported in an exclusive.
The FA Cup champions are looking to profit from the sale of a player they signed from Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow in January 2008.
With Mourinho seeking to reinforce his defensive capabilities, Ivanovic is considered a perfect fit because of his versatility, the report added.
However, Chelsea’s decision to even consider an offer is likely to anger fans who already feel Ivanovic’s absence from the Champions League final next Saturday against Bayern Munich has severely dented their chances of victory.
Chelsea exodus begins
Chelsea is bracing for a double blow with Romelu Lukaku, the man dubbed the new Drogba, seeking a loan move from Stamford Bridge next season.
Lukaku joined the Blues in an £18 million switch from Anderlecht last summer but is unhappy at the fact that he has appeared just eight times this season.
His strong physical resemblance to Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba has not helped his cause much failing to feature at all under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo, who replace Andre Villas-Boas in March.
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Despite being aware that Drogba is also heading to China after failing to secure a new two-year deal, Lukaku is virtually pleading with Chelsea to send him out on loan.
The 18-year-old is in no rush to sever his ties with Chelsea but is keen to explore the possibility of a stint away from Stamford Bridge next term, according to The Sun.
He said: "I need to play more games. It has not been as I imagined at Chelsea. Both Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo have stuck with experienced players.
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"I haven't always agreed with their decisions but, as a player, you have to accept the decisions of the coach. I don't have any regrets about joining Chelsea. I've learned a lot.
"Let's wait and see who is appointed Chelsea manager but, as it stands, I'll be going out on loan.”
Stoke have been linked with a move for Lukaku in the past and the Belgian is refusing to rule out any potential suitors, the report added.
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He added: "Playing games is the most important thing for my career right now and for that reason it's better to look at other places.
"I leave all options open. I know that I am capable of playing for a top club in Europe, but perhaps it is better that I take one step backwards now so I can then take two forwards.
"My aim is to gain experience and then return to Chelsea. I need to put myself back in the picture so I can play with Belgian national side.”