Reports are suggesting that Chelsea could be ready to join Manchester United in the race to sign Marseille talent, Cesar Azpilicueta, as Andre Villas Boas seeks to continue his youthful turnaround at the club.
The Portuguese boss has already added youngsters such as Oriol Romeu, Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata to his squad since taking over the reins of the club during the summer, but he doesn’t seem ready to stop there.
Manchester United have been tracking Azpilicueta since the right-back’s days at Osasuna and despite his 2010 transfer to Marseille, interest from the Red Devils doesn’t appear to have decreased.
Chelsea currently have Jose Bosingwa and Branislav Ivanovic filling the options at right-back, but are still experiencing problems in the position.
While Bosingwa yields more in attack, his defensive attributes apparently aren’t up to the Chelsea standard while Ivanovic has the opposite problem, sometimes concentrating too much on defence giving his side little in terms of an attacking platform.
This has led Villas Boas to take a look at Azpilicueta, who offers the prospect of a natural full-back who is more than capable of defending his flank whilst providing options in attack.
The Spaniard has made just over 30 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit after sustaining a long-term injury in 2011 but has recovered well and looks to be back to his best, making 15 starts in the French top flight alone.
Sir Alex Ferguson will pose hefty competition in the race for Azpilicueta as he looks to resolve a full-back issue of his own, and a bidding war could ensue around the £14m-rated youngster.