Chelsea have identified three centre-back targets for the summer and could be prepared to offload Kurt Zouma as part of the rebuild, The Athletic reports.
The Blues parted ways with manager Frank Lampard when they were languishing ninth in the league standings in January, and they have since revived their campaign with Thomas Tuchel at the helm.
The club have gone unbeaten for eight successive league matches with five wins and three draws and are now occupying the fourth spot in the table, with a good chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
This has come about from vastly improved defensive displays, and Tuchel’s decision to opt for a back three has worked wonders in their mini-revival over the past six weeks.
Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger have all played a fundamental role during the run, and Zouma has probably been the odd-man-out with just one league appearance.
Tuchel has talked about the Frenchman’s qualities in recent interviews, but the centre-back continues to remain out-of-favour with the German having concerns over the defender’s ball-playing abilities.
It has been reported that he could be on the move this summer with the club keen on signing one of Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich), Ibrahima Konate (RB Leipzig) or Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid) as a replacement.
Aside from Zouma, the club are hopeful that AC Milan will trigger the £24.2 million buy option available in Fikayo Tomori’s loan contract.
With the duo tipped to leave, Tuchel may integrate Marc Guehi and Ethan Ampadu into the squad after their loan stints.
Guehi has been a key player at the heart of the Swansea City backline. The Welsh outfit have the joint-best defensive record in the Championship.
Ampadu has not had the best of seasons with relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday, but he has earned valuable experience playing in a back three.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com