Chelsea have made a late attempt to sign Juventus defender Mattia Caldara, who is reportedly close to sealing a move to AC Milan.

Chelsea have lodged a £35.5 million offer for Juventus and Italy defender Mattia Caldara, as their patience over the transfer of his club teammate Daniele Rugani wears thin, as per reports from the Evening Standard.

The Blues are understood to be on the lookout for defensive reinforcements heading into the new season and have been strongly linked with a £45 million move for Rugani over the past month. However, with the two clubs unable to reach an agreement for the 24-year old, Chelsea have decided to switch their attention towards Rugani’s Juventus teammate instead.

Caldara signed for the Bianconeri back in January 2017 in a €15 million deal from Atalanta, but is yet to make a single competitive appearance for the Serie A champions. The 24-year old spent the past eighteen months on loan with his former club. He made 34 appearances across all competitions in the 2017-18 season, netting three goals in the process and setting up four more.

Back at Juventus post the end of the loan stint this summer, Caldara has impressed in the pre-season for the Old Lady, prompting Chelsea to make a move to sign him before the English transfer window shuts down in ten days’ time. However, the Blues will have to battle it out against AC Milan if they are to land the 24-year old.

Headed for AC Milan (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Headed for AC Milan (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

It is believed that the Rossoneri are close to signing the one-time capped Italian international as part of a sensational swap deal that would see veteran centre-half Leonardo Bonucci return to Juventus only a year later after he had left Turin for Milan.

The supposed deal will reportedly see Milan shell out €55 million along with Bonucci, in exchange for Caldara and striker Gonzalo Higuain, who was also a primary transfer target for Chelsea this summer. The Argentine forward is expected to move on a one-year loan deal with an obligation to make the transfer permanent in the next summer window.

Caldara still has four years left on his contract with Juventus. However, negotiations between Milan and the Serie A champions over the stunning swap deal are understood be in advanced stages, which will come as a huge setback for Chelsea’s hopes of signing the Italian centre-back.

It has been slow going for the Blues in the transfer window so far, with the club only managing to sign midfielder Jorginho and veteran English goalkeeper Robert Green. They continue to be linked with a number of players, with Inter Milan midfielder Matias Vecino being the latest in the line.

But, the inability to close deals could end up costing them dearly, considering that the transfer deadline day is almost upon us.

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