N'Golo Kante is poised to turn down a new contract at Leicester City and favours a move to Chelsea over his numerous other summer options.
The midfielder is emerging as one of Chelsea's top targets after they failed with two bids for Roma's Radja Nainggolan.
Following Kante's superb season in the Premier League and at Euro 2016 for hosts France, Leicester have
offered him a new pounds 100,000-a-week deal. But Kante is -siding towards leaving the champions, with Chelsea,
Juventus, Manchester United and Arsenal battling for his signature.
Of the four clubs, Kante is believed to fancy the opportunity of working with -Antonio Conte at Chelsea the most, but he has not yet ruled out going elsewhere.
Conte, the Italy manager, will start work as Chelsea's new head coach immediately after the Euros and wants a midfielder who can get all over the pitch, which makes Kante, 25, the perfect option.
Kante has a pounds 20?million -release clause in his Leicester contract, although Chelsea may yet have to pay over that figure to land him.
While pounds 20?million triggers the clause, the terms of the agreement are believed to state that Leicester are only required to accept the highest bid over that figure. Chelsea will, therefore, want to avoid sparking an auction which results in them paying well in excess of that. It is for this reason Arsenal have been reluctant to formalise their interest with a bid.
Juventus are likely to provide the strongest competition to Chelsea for Kante, but the player is expected to choose remaining in the Premier League over moving to Italy.
Other than Kante, Chelsea are looking at Nainggolan's Belgium team-mate Axel Witsel, but it is the Frenchman who the club will first pursue.
Having agreed a pounds 33?million fee with Marseille for striker Michy Batshuayi, who has passed initial medical tests and will earn around pounds 110,000 a week at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea confirmed that Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao would leave the club now their loan deals have expired.
With Pato and Falcao -going, Loic Remy expected to depart and Atletico -Madrid attempting to -
re-sign Diego Costa, Chelsea still want to land Spain -striker Alvaro Morata.
Morata has rejoined Real Madrid from Juventus, but the Spanish club are willing to sell him on for pounds 50?million. Chelsea have already held talks over the 23-year-old, who owner Roman Abramovich watched personally at Euro 2016.
Pato and Falcao started just two Premier League games and scored two goals between them. Other than those two, Chelsea have confirmed the departure of goalkeeper Marco Amelia. With Asmir Begovic also likely to leave, they are tracking AC Milan veteran Diego Lopez after losing out to Crystal Palace over Steve Mandanda.
Palace were able to offer Mandanda first-team football, while Chelsea are looking for a deputy to Thibaut Courtois.