Chelsea has stepped up their interest in Real Madrid’s French international defender Raphael Varane after news that Pepe is about to sign a new contract, and that this will then push the 21-year-old Varane closer to the Bernabeu exit door.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is a big fan of the versatile defender who is at home playing as a full-back or in a central defensive position, even calling him along with Kurt Zouma one of the best young defenders in the world today.

The Blues boss will almost certainly make Varane a priority this summer given the fact John Terry will probably be playing his last season for the club next year, and that he faces a real possibility of losing Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic to Bayern Munich after the Bundesliga champions expressed an interest in signing the 31-year-old.