Chelsea are interested in signing Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar.
That is according to the Daily Mail, who are reporting that the Blues have made enquires about the 27-year-old centre back.
They will face competition from Tottenham though, with Antonio Conte keen to reunite with a Slovakia international after the pair worked together at the Italian club.
Thomas Tuchel needs more reinforcements at the back, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leaving the club.
However, the Daily Mail are reporting that Sevilla centre back Jules Kounde is still a priority at Stamford Bridge.
So, how do Skriniar compare to the 23-year-old, and which one would be the better signing for Chelsea?
The former Sampdoria centre back has been vital to Inter’s defence. Out of those that made more than ten league appearances, the £58.5m-rated colossus leads the way in clearances and blocks per game, as well having the highest pass accuracy.
Italian football journalist David Amoyal dubbed him an “absolute beast” who would be “quite the addition for any team”, and Spurs legend Graham Roberts criticised his side for not making a move for the £90k-per-week star after his performances at last summer’s Euros.
“I saw Skriniar, he was brilliant on TV, absolutely brilliant but we never went and got him, now he’ll be worth a lot more.
“Lewandowski didn’t get a kick so there’s your answer.”
He also contributes at the other end, being in the top 10% of centre backs in Europe’s top five leagues for shots.
His WhoScored rating of 6.92 is the second-highest at the club. His centre back partner Diego Carlos has been very complimentary of the £54m-rated star, suggesting that “he can play for great European clubs”.
“He is a young player who can still improve over time, he has got great qualities, he is very strong and I am sure he can play for a big club as a great defender,” he added.
The former Bordeaux defender is in the top 5% of centre backs in La Liga for passes, dribbles, and shot-creating actions per 90 minutes.
His ability to make an impact in both boxes has influenced Spanish football expert Euan McTear to him call him “pretty special”.
“He’s still so young, he’s got energy, great positioning too. All the centre-backs, not just in Spain I think, but if you look around Europe, he’s got to be one of the highest prospects.”
Chelsea need to not just look at what they bring, but also consider what the west London club needs.
Kounde’s ability to play right-back as well as in the centre of defence is useful, but the Blues have Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, and Reece James can all do that, so his versatility is not as important to Tuchel.
On the other hand, what is needed at Stamford Bridge is a replacement for Rudiger, and Skriniar is viewed by FBRef to be one of the most similar centre backs to the German international in Europe’s top five leagues.
Therefore, the Inter defender would be the better signing for Chelsea.