David Alaba is said to be appreciative of the interest Frank Lampard has shown in him as Chelsea plan transfer talks.
The Austria international is stuck in contract limbo at Bayern Munich after they pulled their offer off the table.
It means the 28-year-old is set to leave at the end of the season with his deal expiring in the summer.
Bayern decided to withdraw their offer after Alaba and his representatives were adjudged to have taken too long to respond.
They insist the matter is not closed and renegotiations could yet restart.
But with both parties so far apart in their terms, it remains to be seen whether either side will buckle.
It has not stopped several European teams taking a closer look after Alaba’s agent Pini Zahavi offered him.
Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Juventus are all interested but according to AS it is Chelsea that are leading the race.
They state that an offer is being readied for January as they look at a potential pre-contract deal.
That would see Alaba move to Stamford Bridge for nothing at the end of the season.
And AS further report that the Austrian has been encouraged by Lampard’s interest in him, putting Chelsea in pole position.
The Blues strengthened their squad exponentially in the summer, with the defence a clear priority.
Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy joined to fix a leaky backline and they have done just that.
In the last nine matches, the west London outfit have conceded just twice.
But Lampard is not done yet and believes further improvements can be made, with Alaba eyed as the solution.
The Bayern star can play a number of positions such as left-back, centre-back and even in midfield.
It spells bad news for Chelsea’s back-up defenders, with the Englishman not able to trust the likes of Marcos Alonso, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.
Liverpool and Arsenal have also been linked with Alaba, though the former could step up their efforts after a number of injuries to their backline.
The defender was a key part of Bayern’s treble-winning season last year, where they beat PSG in the Champions League final with Alaba at centre-back.
What do you think about this song?
We want to hear from you all.Drop your comments