France International Adrien Rabiot has been free to discuss terms with potential new clubs for the last five months, whilst his contract, that expires next month, runs down.

Chelsea expect the Court of Arbitration for Sport to at least freeze their transfer ban this summer, whilst they investigate the clubs appeal, thus allowing Chelsea to still sign new players in the next window.

The club have been preparing for both outcomes, and that means putting the moves in for potential summer targets over the last few months.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Rabiot, has known he will be leaving the Ligue 1 side at the end of his contract for some time, and was even in talks with Chelsea about a potential move in January to replace Cesc Fabregas. This however, did not transpire and the Blues hierarchy decided not to replace the Spaniard and re-assess in the summer.

The latest reports from French publication L’Equipe would suggest that talks have occurred once again between the 24-year old’s agent and Chelsea.

But this time, The Blues face competition from other top English sides, due to the attraction of the player now becoming a free agent. Manchester City, Manchester United, and Liverpool have all shown an interest in Rabiot, and could make approaches.

Chelsea may well be looking for another midfielder to replace Mateo Kovacic, who’s future is unclear. But Kovacic being the only real backup for Jorginho whom Maurizio Sarri prefers to use, Rabiot could be seen as a player to cover this position, as well as the more advanced roles in midfield.

Simon Phillips