It appears that Chelsea have already secured their first signing ahead of the January transfer window amid concerns of a potential defensive crisis.
Manager Thomas Tuchel made a number of changes to his squad ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, parting ways with as many as five centre-backs, including Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and Ethan Ampadu, who is on loan at Italian club Venezia for the season.
However, his decision to do so has seemingly placed the German coach in a tough predicament as Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen prepare to enter the new year with their respective contracts set to expire at the end of this campaign.
Scroll through the gallery below to see some players Chelsea have recently been linked with
This leaves the trio of defenders with the opportunity to either run down their deals and leave the club as free agents or sign a pre-contract with another side in January 2022.
It appears, however, that the Stamford Bridge hierarchy are planning ahead just in case any of the aforementioned players do make an exit, with reports linking the club with a move for Fenerbahce defender Adam Szalai.
Hungary national team manager Marco Rossi has now claimed his centre-back's switch to west London "is a done deal".
"It's hard to name just one player, but right now I see very well Attila Szalai, who plays for Fenerbahce, but I think he is joining Chelsea," he said when asked which young Hungarian player would best suit Serie A, as per Football Italia.
"Clearly, he has been followed by important clubs in Spain, but apparently his move to Chelsea is a done deal. [He] would be a great player also for Italian football."
Here are Chelsea's five highest earners, per The National News