Chelsea are reportedly prepared to step up their attempts to sign Tottenham's out of favour defender Toby Alderweireld as the Belgium international's contract saga continues to rumble on.
The 29-year-old currently has just one year remaining on his contract with the north London club as Spurs continue to resist his demands of a £150,000-a-week contract in a bumper new deal, opening the door for the Blues.
Despite Alderweireld's World Cup hopes with Belgium on the line following a lack of game time - which is set to see him remain on the bench against Chelsea on Sunday - Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has insisted that he feels no responsibility to change the situation should it meddle with his own plans.
Pochettino and other senior figures at the north London side have shown no signs of backing down from their stance over Alderweireld's contract situation, leaving the door wide open for a summer exit.
Alderweireld recently returned from an injury which kept him out of action for a few months, with Spurs coping reasonably well in his absence thanks to the progression of summer signing Davinson Sanchez.
Although there are suggestions that Spurs would be reluctant to sell to Chelsea, the Blues remain optimistic that the 29-year-old's expiring contract has given them an opening.
Alderweireld's current deal with Tottenham includes a one-year extension option - to be activated in 2019 - but a £25m release clause which can be triggered in the same summer period, as long as a deal is completed at least 14 days before the end of the transfer window.
The buy-out clause leaves the north London club vulnerable to losing the centre-back for less than market value, so despite placing a £55m price tag on his head Chelsea believe they can secure a cut price of £40m.