Chelsea have opened talks with Manchester City over the prospect of a double move for Raheem Sterling and Nathan Ake.
Co-owner Todd Boehly contacted the Premier League champions on Monday to check on their valuation of both players, with Chelsea keen to sign both.
While Sterling had emerged as one of Chelsea’s top attacking targets some time ago and has already been contacted by head coach Thomas Tuchel, Ake has moved towards the top of their list of potential defensive signings.
Tuchel was interested in signing Ake while he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund and the fact the 27-year-old can slot in to the left side of a back three to replace Antonio Rudiger, as well as fill in at left-back and in midfield, is particularly attractive.
Ake also offers Premier League experience, which could be vital given Chelsea have to sign at least two new central defenders this summer.
Just as Sterling would be open to a move to Stamford Bridge, Ake is thought to be open to the idea of returning to Chelsea, where he spent seven years after joining as a 15-year-old.
Chelsea have spoken to Juventus about Matthijs de Ligt, but the Italians are currently holding out for a huge fee which has held up progress, while discussions are ongoing over a move for long-term target Jules Kounde from Sevilla.
Were Chelsea to sign Kounde and Ake, then Reece James could start next season on the right side of Tuchel’s back three with the Frenchman at right wing-back to give him time to get used to English football.
Other than Sterling, Chelsea are interested in Arsenal target Raphinha, Everton star Richarlison, who Tottenham Hotspur have opened discussions over, and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele.
The responsibility on Boehly’s shoulders increased after Petr Cech joined the Chelsea exodus that has followed the change of ownership.
Cech has stepped down from his role as technical and performance advisor with Chelsea, following last week’s departures of Bruce Buck and Marina Granovskaia.
As well as Cech, Granovskaia and Buck, former chief executive Guy Laurence and ex-head of goalkeeping Christophe Lollichon have left Chelsea this summer.
Boehly had asked Cech to stay and help him through this transfer window, but the 40-year-old informed him in a meeting that he felt the time was right to go.
Cech said: “It has been a huge privilege to perform this role at Chelsea for the past three years. With the club under new ownership, I feel now is the right time for me to step aside. I am pleased that the club is now in an excellent position with the new owners and I am confident of its future success both on and off the pitch.”