Chelsea will make an improved offer for Benfica centre-back David Luiz, in the hope or prizing him away from Estadio da Luz, the Guardian reports.
Reports from Portugal suggested the Blues initially offered around £17m for the Brazilian defender last month and there have also been suggestions that former Porto full-back Paulo Ferreira could be used as a makeweight in any deal.
23-year-old Luiz – who has a £43m release clause in his contract – is tied to Benfica until 2014 and the Portuguese club tried to ward of interest by insisting they would not accept offers under £42m.
Carlo Ancelotti is in the market for centre-half cover, with one of his first choice defenders, Alex, expected to be out until mid-February as he recovers from knee surgery.
Sanchez interest confirmed.
Italian side Udinese have confirmed the Blues are interested in signing Chilean international Alexis Sanchez, according to Sky Sports.
The 22-year-old is one of the brightest prospects in Italian football and has attracted the attention Inter Milan, but the Italian champions have calmed their interest in the winger, leaving the path clear for Chelsea.
Udinese owner, Giampaolo Pozzo, confirmed talks had begun with the Stamford Bridge side: “What is Sanchez’s value?” he told Sky Italia. “With Chelsea we talked about €25.1m. I want this figure, if not more.”
However, Pozzo is determined to keep his prize asset: “It’s useless to talk about something that we don’t want to do because we cannot remove anyone from the team when we are midway through a season.”
Pienaar to decide.
Everton’s Steven Pienaar faces arguably the biggest decision of his career, as he must choose between Chelsea and Tottenham, BBC Sport understands.
It was confirmed the Toffee’s have accepted a bid from Spurs, which is believed to match a similar bid from the Blues just a few days ago, so now the former Ajax star must now choose as he prepares to leave Goodison Park.
Spurs’ initial bid – turned down by the Merseysiders – was closer to the £2m mark, but it’s understood a compromised figure of £2.5m has now been agreed, as Everton boss David Moyes tries to ensure the South African does not leave for free in the Summer.
Cech issues warning.
Petr Cech told BBC Sport Chelsea must win their next three games before they can definitely say their slump is behind them.
Beating Ipswich in the FA cup and Blackburn in the league, reflected back-to-back victories for the first time for the Blues in two months, but the Czech international goalkeeper believes they must continue their current run into next month.
“It was extremely important that against Blackburn we managed to follow the performance from the Ipswich game.” The 28-year-old said.
“However, this is just the first step we have made to end the bad streak of results. In order to be able to say, ‘OK, it’s beyond us’, we need to win four or five games in the style like against Blackburn.”