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Chelsea making their move in the transfer market as they eye up THREE defenders

Thomas Tuchel of Chelsea speaks to the media after the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel of Chelsea speaks to the media after the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Kevin Palmer

Chelsea have started to make moves to bolster their defensive options, with three names on manager Thomas Tuchel's shopping list.

With question marks over the future of several key defensive players as they stall on agreeing new contracts with the Stamford Bridge club, Chelsea have already made detailed plans to add to their squad and they are open to striking deals in next month's transfer window.

Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva are among the players out of contract at the end of this season, with talks over extending their stay at the club yet to reach a successful conclusion.

Rudiger has been a key man for Tuchel this season, but there is an expectation with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy that the 28-year-old Germany international already has a tentative agreement in place to join another club.

A free transfer move would allow Rudiger to cash in a huge signing on fee and secure a massive wages deal, with Real Madrid continually linked to the defender.

Chelsea are still hopeful of keeping Azpilicueta and Silva at the club, but there is uncertainty over what happens next to Christensen after initial contract offers failed to secure a deal.

With full-back Ben Chilwell now set to be out for any extended period with a knee injury, Chelsea are actively looking for defensive additions and three names are at the top of their list.

Jules Kounde of Sevilla is a target for Chelsea (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Jules Kounde of Sevilla is a target for Chelsea (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has made it clear that he is eager to revive his move to Chelsea after a move to west London down last summer, but it would take a big offer to secure that deal in January.

Everton's Lucas Digne is also on Chelsea's wanted list and there is a feeling that he could be a signing that may be completed in the upcoming transfer window.

Barcelona's Sergino Dest is another player interesting Chelsea and once again, he is a player who could be signed next month.

Real Madrid's Belgian forward Eden Hazard. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid's Belgian forward Eden Hazard. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Chelsea insiders have distanced themselves from persistent reports that they could move to bring former Stamford Bridge talisman Eden Hazard back to the club after his miserable spell at Real Madrid.

Chelsea may also find a way to off-load midfielder Ross Barkley next month, with Everton keen to bring the player back to Goodison Park.


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