Serie A side Roma are reportedly preparing a bid for defender Kurt Zouma - but are unwilling to match Chelsea's £25m valuation this month.
The 20-year-old, who joined the Premier League champions from Saint Etienne for £12m in 2012, made 26 appearances for the Blues last season - but could fall down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge with Jose Mourinho keen on signing Everton's John Stones.
Having sold former Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to Ligue 1 side Lyon, the Giallorossi have earmarked French compatriot Zouma as a potential replacement and are keen on concluding a deal before the end of the transfer window.
However, according to the Sunday Times, Roma's sporting director Walter Sabatini is looking to negotiate a loan deal for the defender with the option of making the move permanent for £25m at a later date.
Following the sale of central defender Alessio Romagnoli to AC Milan to rivals AC Milan, Roma boss Rudi Garcia has confirmed the club want three defensive reinforcements.
"There's work to be done, I'm waiting for two central defenders since Yanga-Mbiwa has left. Then we need a fullback" the Frenchman told Roma TV.
"The attack and midfield are fine, but I don't have much time to work on the defense as the new buys are arriving late. That’s OK though, we did it last year with [Kostas] Manolas and [Jose] Holebas, we'll do it again this year."