Chelsea are considering a move for Manchester City defender Micah Richards in the summer, according to The Guardian.
However, they will face competition from Liverpool and Serie A sides Inter Milan and Fiorentina if they want to sign the capped England international.
Richards has spent this season on loan with La Viola, and they have already offered him a contract to join them on a permanent basis.
The defender’s contract with City expires at the end of the season, and as a result, he can move on a free transfer.
While foreign clubs like Inter and Fiorentina can move now, Chelsea will have to wait until later in the season.
At that point, they will likely have to compete with Liverpool too, who are also thought to be keen on replacing Glen Johnson with the right back.
Chelsea are particularly keen, with Richards a long term target of Jose Mourinho’s.
The Portuguese manager tried to sign him while in charge of Chelsea before and also while at Real Madrid.
Micah Richards, who moved to Fiorentina on loan from Manchester City this summer, has attacked the current incumbent City boss Manuel Pellegrini for a lack of opportunities since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium, as reported by The Independent.
Richards has said that he himself does not possess any ill feeling towards the club, but does resent the lack of playing time that he was afforded by Chilean manager Pellegrini.
The homegrown City star was previously a key part of the team, but lost his place to Pablo Zabaleta a few seasons ago. He went on to lose his role in the England national side as a result, and has seen his opportunities to play football limited in recent seasons, necessitating his loan move to Serie A side Fiorentina.
Richards himself is convinced that he had to make the move, having played so infrequently since Pellegrini took charge of Man City.
He said: “I don’t have any bad feelings towards the club. They put me on the map and gave me a chance when I was 17. But I do have bad feelings towards the playing time [I was given].
“For any player, when you’re not playing it’s frustrating. When Roberto Mancini was in charge, he would rotate the full-backs.
“When we won the league in 2012, I played more than (Pablo) Zabaleta. So, I feel as though I could have been given more chances to play [under Pellegrini].
“I felt like I had improved and that I could do it at that level.”