Chelsea are reportedly ready to hijack Manchester City's £100 million move for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.
The England star has been widely linked with a big-money move to the Etihad after impressing with his boyhood club, leading the Villans to an 11th-place finish in 2020/21 Premier League campaign.
Grealish then took his club form to the 2020 UEFA European Championship, helping the Three Lions reach the final.
Pep Guardiola's City were rumoured to be frontrunners for the 25-year-old's signature as a result, but according to Tuttomercatoweb, Thomas Tuchel's Blues are now ready to capitalise on the Citizens' hesitance to pay Villa's £100 million (R2 billion) asking price for the player.
It is further claimed that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is willing to offer two players, Ross Barkley and Tammy Abraham, plus cash in exchange for Grealish.
The Blues' top priority in this transfer window is reportedly a striker, with the likes of Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski said to be on their shortlist, but the London outfit seemingly also see a winger as a necessary acquisition.
According to German publication Bild, Grealish is the third wide man Chelsea have targeted, after a failed €100 million (R1.7 billion) pursuit of Federico Chiesa, whom Juventus immediately declared is not for sale, and minor interest in his Italy teammate Domenico Berardi as a cheaper alternative.
Dean Smith's Villa are doing everything they can to keep their star man, including making him one of the highest earners in the Premier League by offering him a new deal worth £200 000 (R4 million) a week in order to persuade him to stay at Villa Park for years to come, according to The Sun.
Click through the gallery below to see 10 players Chelsea have recently been linked with