CHELSEA are set to rival Manchester United and Barcelona for the signature of Villarreal defender Pau Torres, according to reports.
Blues boss Frank Lampard is keen to bolster his side’s leaky defence.
Burnley are the only top-half side to have conceded more goals in the Premier League than the West Londoners this season.
Lampard, 42, has tinkered with various centre-back combinations between Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger, Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen.
But the 44 goals shipped in just 32 games have undermined his side’s attacking efforts.
According to the Mail, however, the Blues see Torres as a potential solution to their defensive woes.
The 23-year-old has impressed for the Yellow Submarine, making 29 appearances this season and even being handed his senior Spain debut, in which he scored.
Torres has three years left on his current contract, but the deal contains a £45million release clause.
This fee may have to be negotiated down, however, if Torres is to get a dream transfer.
Chelsea have already shelled out £54m on RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner, in addition to the £37m spent on Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech.
Other names including Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Lucas Digne are also believed to be on the Blues’ radar.
Lampard will be desperate to offer his new signings Champions League football next season – although more performances like that offered up at the London Stadium on Wednesday night will see them looking nervously over their shoulders.
Andriy Yarmolenko’s late strike for West Ham condemned Chelsea to a 3-2 defeat to the East London strugglers – with Christensen, Rudiger and Marcos Alonso in particular playing shambolic roles in the hammer blow.
The Blues still occupy fourth-position, although Lampard’s men are now just two points above chasers Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.