Chelsea are confident of tying up a deal for Fiorentina’s Marcos Alonso before the transfer window slams shut tomorrow night.

The Blues are short of options in defence and allowed left-back Baba Rahman to join Schalke on loan earlier this month in search or regular football.

Rahman failed to impress the Stamford Bridge hierarchy after joining from Bundesliga side Augsburg a year ago and head coach Antonio Conte deemed him surplus to requirements.

Chelsea are willing to pay more than £20million to sign former Bolton Wanderers defender Alonso and negotiations for the sale of the 25-year-old are in the final stages.

Conte has watched Alonso’s progress in Serie A closely while on regular scouting missions as part of his former duties as manager of the Italian national team.

Chelsea would still like to add a centre-back to their ranks before Wednesday’s deadline but moves for Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli appear dead in the water.

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The huge fees required to sign the players and the complexity of the deals make it unlikely either will arrive before the cut-off point and the Blues are instead looking at loan deals.

Alonso’s expected arrival will also ease the burden on the threadbare squad as the naturally left-sided player could facilitate a return to right-back for Cesar Azpilicueta.

Regular right-back Branislav Ivanovic has been criticised for his performances at recent times and shifting Azpilicueta to his original position could see him left out of the picture.

Instead, Ivanovic could become the additional centre-half that Conte is looking for and Ola Aina would continue to provide cover in the wide areas.

Meanwhile, rumours are swirling that Kurt Zouma is wanted in German but the Blues are not keen to allow the Frenchman to leave the club as he nears a return to action.

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