Chelsea are considering a £30 million move for Barcelona fullback Sergino Dest.
The Blues are looking to strengthen their defence if possible in January but more likely in the summer, particularly with England defender Ben Chilwell out for several months with cruciate ligament damage.
Barcelona are in turn looking at Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, with the long-serving 32-year-old defender’s contract running out in the summer, and have made an inquiry about the Spanish international.
US international Dest, 21, can play on both flanks and is interesting Chelsea because of his versatility.
With Chilwell injured, Chelsea’s only option on the left currently is 30-year-old Marcus Alonso.
Dest, who joined Barcelona from Ajax in 2020, made 41 appearances last year, but the return to the Nou Camp of Dani Alves in January has put his position under threat, and the American has also suffered a dip in form lately.
Bayern Munich are also interested in Dest, and it looks likely that Chelsea will have to wait until next summer to get their man, with the Dutch-born defender still under contract at the Nou Camp until 2025.
However, Barcelona could be forced into selling players in January in order to register Ferran Torres because of LaLiga financial fair play rules.
The Catalan giants are closing in on completing a deal in the region of £50m to sign Torres from Manchester City but will first need to sell players before he can be registered to play in LaLiga.
That could open the door for Chelsea to swoop in and sign Dest.
Tuchel admitted last week that he would be open to bringing in another left-back with Chilwell facing a long period of time out on the sidelines
He said: “First, we must be sure what we do with Ben. Then we decide if we go for internal solutions and if we trust that we can overcome this period.
“Everything depends on Ben Chilwell and how long he is out. Then on the alternatives, [we can think] if there is something to do, if there is a chance to do something.
“But we did not start this process because we want to protect ourselves and not lose focus on the most important things. The most important things right now are Ben and Marcos. From there we go.”