Chelsea have reportedly submitted a £35 million bid to Juventus for Daniele Rugani, as the Blues eye their first signing of the summer.

According to a report by London Evening Standard, Chelsea have stepped up their efforts to make Daniele Rugani their first signing of the summer transfer window. The Blues have tabled a £35 million bid for the Juventus defender, with the managerial uncertainty at Stamford Bridge set to end.

Rugani has long been regarded as one of the best young defenders in the world since breaking into the first-team setup at Juventus in 2013. Since returning from a two-year loan spell at boyhood club Empoli though, the player has seen his growth being shunted somewhat.

With Giorgio Chiellini – and Leonardo Bonucci till the 2016-17 season – ahead of him in the pecking order, and the likes of Andrea Barzagli and Medhi Benatia sharing game time with him, Rugani has not been able to stamp his authority properly.

The lack of consistent starts could reportedly force him to leave Juventus this summer in order to secure regular first-team football elsewhere. This chance could be afforded to him at Chelsea, who have been showing a lot of interest in him lately.

Inching closer to the Chelsea move? (Photo courtesy - Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Inching closer to the Chelsea move? (Photo courtesy – Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

The Blues’ presence in the transfer market has been absolutely non-existent thus far, with no players joining or leaving. That has largely been down to the managerial uncertainty that has engulfed Chelsea in the last few months – the West Londoners have been negotiating Maurizio Sarri’s compensation amount with Napoli while also grappling with the problem of Antonio Conte’s severance package.

However, with Chelsea finally edging closer to finally appointing Sarri as Conte’s replacement, transfer dealings are set to kick in imminently. And, Rugani looks likely to be their first summer signing, with the Blues eager to bolster defence ahead of the 2018-19 season.

In Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, Chelsea do have two fantastic long-term solutions at the heart of defence. But, beyond the duo there’s precious little in terms of quality and reliability, with Gary Cahill proving to be inconsistent this past season and David Luiz nearing his second departure from the Bridge.

With Kurt Zouma’s future uncertain, Chelsea definitely have an alarming need to sign a new centre-back, making Rugani a viable target, who Sarri knows quite well from their time together at Empoli. And, after reportedly having their first bid knocked back, the club has returned with an offer of £35 million.

They are also looking to tempt Rugani with a double-your-pay £60,000-a-week five-year deal. However, convincing Juventus to sell still remains a big ask for Chelsea, with the Bianconeri considering the 23-year-old as their own long-term solution at the heart of defence.

With three years still remaining on his deal at the Allianz Stadium, Juventus could ask for a more hefty transfer fee, and it remains to be seen if they can come to an agreement over Rugani’s move. If the move fails to materialise, Chelsea could set their sights closer to home, where Jamaal Lascelles remains a target.

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