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Chelsea eyeing move for Inter Milan centre-half Ranocchia

| 08.12.2013

Chelsea are interested in bringing Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia to Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.

The central defender’s future at the San Siro is the subject of constant speculation with the former Genoa star showing no signs of signing a new contract with the Italian club.

With David Luiz’s future at the west London outfit still uncertain amid reported interest from Barcelona and John Terry out of contract at the end of the season, Jose Mourinho could be forced into making a move for the 6ft 5in defender, who has made 73 appearances for the Nerazzurri.

The Blues are set to be rivalled for his signature by Manchester United and Tottenham, while Italian clubs Napoli, AC Milan and Juventus are all thought to be keeping an eye on the situation.

But with a possible shortage of options at the heart of the Blues defence, Mourinho is set to make the first move for the 25-year-old, who has won 12 caps for Italy.

And with captain Terry, who made his 400th Premier League appearance in the 3-1 win over Southampton at the weekend, still uncertain about his future at the club, Ranocchia could be an ideal long-term replacement should the former England captain’s 15-year tenure in west London come to an end.

Chelsea currently sit second in the table, four points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal, and the towering Italian defender is likely to provide a huge boost to their title challenge.

The Europa League champions, who face former player Gus Poyet’s Sunderland tonight, are 5/2 to win their first Premier League crown since the 2009-10 season and Ranocchia’s presence could make them a sure bet to lift the title in May.

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Oliver Yew