Chelsea are reportedly interested in acquiring the services of Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles at the end of the season, as they look to bolster their options in the centre of defence. Any potential move however, may depend on the future of Magpies' boss Rafa Benitez.
According to the Evening Standard, the 24-year-old has emerged as a target for Blues' boss Antonio Conte as a result of Gary Cahill and David Luiz's indifferent form for the majority of the current campaign. The club were also said to looking to secure a younger option given the aforementioned duo's increasing age.
Reports from the capital that Chelsea are keeping tabs on Jamaal Lascelles... has made continuous, steady progress since leaving the CG. The Newcastle captain always had the raw potential to reach the highest level. He's worked hard to try to fulfill it #nffc— Paul Taylor (@nottmtails) February 22, 2018
Lascelles - formerly of Nottingham Forest - only recently signed a new six-year contract at St James' Park worth in the region of £50k per week, a figure that Chelsea would most certainly be expected to better should they be allowed to negotiate with the 24-year-old.
Benitez himself is reportedly unhappy at Newcastle as a result of Mike Ashley's stranglehold on transfer dealings, as well as a lack of budget afforded to him in recent windows.
If the Spaniard decides to walk at the end of the season, Lascelles may jump ship as well; especially if the newly promoted side fail to survive their first season back in the top flight.