Chelsea are keeping a close eye on Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, 90min can confirm, and could move for the Poland international if his preferred move to Barcelona breaks down.
Lewandowski has publicly stressed both his desire to leave Bayern and his wish to join Barca, recently confirming that he has only considered a proposal from the La Liga side up to this point.
Barcelona are desperate to add Lewandowski to their squad this summer but have plenty of work to do behind the scenes to make such a move financially viable, with players needing to be sold and the wage books also needing trimming.
As it stands, Lewandowski is giving full priority to Barcelona and hopes to give them enough time to get a deal done, but sources have confirmed to 90min that Chelsea have asked to be kept aware of the negotiations.
The Blues have close ties with Lewandowski's agent, Pini Zahavi, but have not yet made a formal offer to sign the striker as they are well aware that he is focused solely on joining Barcelona as it stands.
Should those talks with Barcelona break down, Chelsea could consider making a move for Lewandowski as they looked to find a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who has agreed terms with Inter over a loan return to the Nerazzurri which is inching closer to completion.
Amid all this is Bayern's reluctance to sell Lewandowski this summer. The Bundesliga champions want to hold on to their superstar striker but Chelsea are understood to be open to a 12-month loan deal if it would make Bayern more willing to agree to a deal - which would likely require Lewandowski to sign a one-year extension at the Allianz Arena.
While Chelsea would prefer a permanent deal for Lewandowski, a season-long loan would give them an extra 12 months to figure out a solution to their striker conundrum, safe in the knowledge that one of the game's best forwards is leading the line, while it would also give Lewandowski the immediate exit that he is looking for.
However, as it stands, the ball remains firmly in Barcelona's court and Chelsea are looking at other targets, with Lukaku's imminent departure expected to kick-start the Blues' summer signings.
Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde is at the top of Chelsea's wish list when it comes to defensive reinforcements, but the Frenchman's representatives are growing frustrated with how long it has taken Chelsea to get a deal over the line.
Further forward, Manchester City's Raheem Sterling is a target and so is Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele, who is set to leave Camp Nou on a free transfer when his contract expires later this month.