Jose Gimenez has left the door wide open for a move to Chelsea after the Atletico Madrid defender revealed he loves the club and wants to work under Frank Lampard.
Lampard is keen to bolster his defence ahead of the 2020-21 campaign having found the team to be unbalanced last season.
A centre back is on the list for Lampard and 25-year-old Gimenez represents Champions League quality having been a regular under Diego Simeone for Atletico.
While Gimenez, who is under contract at the Wanda Metropolitano through until 2023, would not come cheap, his public show of affection to Chelsea certainly strengthens their hand.
‘I would have liked to play with Lampard,’ he said in an interview with LaLiga.
‘I always used to watch Chelsea as a kid, loved them.’
In attack Chelsea have been proactive in their recruitment.
Lampard got business done early to bring in Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.
The club are also looking to finalise a deal for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, who is valued close to £90million.
Gimenez predominantly plays in a centre back role but has been deployed both at right back and in defensive midfield in the past.
Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori rotated in the centre back slots last season but shipped 54 league goals, the most of any side in the top 10.
Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, valued around £80m, is a target for Lampard at left back but that deal remains consigned to just interest at this stage on the Blues’ behalf.