Manchester United are reportedly planning to trigger the release clause in the contract of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
The Blues could return for the centre-back in January, but they appear set to face stiff competition from the Red Devils.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently shifted to a three-man backline, and the Norwegian is likely to continue with the same system.
Sevilla have no plans of selling Kounde mid-season, but are fearful that the Red Devils will trigger the £69m buy-out clause.
Kounde is eager to play in the Premier League, but he previously snubbed Tottenham due to the lack of Champions League football.
He had agreed personal terms with Chelsea, but a deal did not materialise. He could be tempted to accept a move to Old Trafford.