Chelsea are among a handful of clubs interested in RB Leipzig's Josko Gvardiol, 90min understands, although they are only keeping tabs on the young centre-back at this stage.
The west Londoners find themselves in the midst of a potential defensive exodus this summer, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen heading to La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, and Cesar Azpilicueta's future also far from certain amid interest from the latter.
With that in mind, Chelsea may well pursue two new central defenders when the transfer window opens. As previously reported by 90min, one of those names is almost certain to be Jules Kounde, who came close to a transfer last summer before Sevilla raised their demands at the last minute.
The France international remains keen on the switch and is set to be one of the first faces through the door at Stamford Bridge under Todd Boehly's ownership once government sanctions have been lifted, with the American's takeover approved on Wednesday.
Should Chelsea decide to move for a second new centre-back then Leipzig's Gvardiol will become an option, although their interest in the Croatia international is at an early stage.
The 20-year-old - who possesses that much-coveted attribute for a top-level centre-back: a left foot - has emerged as one of Europe's leading young defenders, playing 45 times in 2021/22 as a regular starter.
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Leipzig are hopeful Gvardiol will stay, as well as Konrad Laimer - who has been recommended to Manchester United - and Christopher Nkunku. However, if things do not go to plan then they may be forced to sell.
90min understands the Croatia international is wary of making a move so soon before a World Cup and risk jeopardising his chances of making the squad, although his head could be turned by the opportunity to join one of Europe's top clubs.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel will look to strengthen several positions in the summer, with new owner Boehly set to had him a £200m war chest.