Chelsea are keeping tabs on Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha, according to The Sun.
The Portuguese international moved to Craven Cottage from Sporting Lisbon for £17m last summer and he has made a big impression during his first season in England.
Palhinha has made 134 tackles and interceptions, which is more than any other player in the Premier League so far this campaign, with Leeds’ Tyler Adams (124) his closest rival.
The Sun claims that the Blues may have to fight off five other clubs to secure the 27-year-old’s signature, with Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle also tracking his progress.
Graham Potter’s side will be in the market for a holding midfielder this summer. Even if N’Golo Kante does extend his contract beyond the end of the season, Mateo Kovacic may still depart.
The Croatian is closing in on the final twelve months of his current deal at Stamford Bridge. He doesn’t appear close to signing an extension and he could well be sold to stop him from leaving on a free next year.