Chelsea manager Frank Lampard reportedly regards West Ham United's Declan Rice as a future centre-back.
Despite the England international still having four years remaining on his contract, he continues to be linked with a transfer to a bigger club during the next window.
Still possessing the funds raised from the sale of Eden Hazard, Chelsea appear best placed to launch an approach for the 21-year-old later in 2020.
However, according to The Times, Rice would be asked to make the transition into a full-time centre-back if he moves to Stamford Bridge.
While the Hammers academy graduate has taken on that role in the past, a number of managers have tended to use him in defensive midfield.
Already well stocked for options in the centre of the pitch, Chelsea are keen to strengthen their backline before the start of the next campaign.