Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is keen to make a second attempt to sign Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj, having failed to sign the Albanian during the summer.
Sarri worked with Hysaj during his three years in charge of Napoli, with the right-back becoming one of his first signings at the club. The duo's working relationship dates back even further, as Hysaj was part of the Empoli side which Sarri took control of in 2012.
The Chelsea boss has been tipped to make another move for Hysaj, according to reports from The Sun. He is even said to have attempted to bring Hysaj with him when he joined Chelsea during the summer, but Napoli, having already allowed Jorginho to move to London, refused to allow any other stars to depart.
However, Hysaj's agent Mario Giuffredi admitted to Radio CRC that negotiations with Chelsea could resume in January. He is quoted by the Daily Mail, saying: “I can’t rule out resuming negotiations with Chelsea in January.
"We know there was contact in the summer because Sarri wanted him, and we also know that [Davide] Zappacosta is not to the liking of the coach. We’ll see how it goes, anything could happen."
Sarri is prepared to allow Zappacosta to leave the club and could even offer him as part of a swap-deal for Hysaj. However, with interest from both Lazio and Roma, Chelsea will wait for the highest offer from any interested club.
Hysaj has been a key player for Napoli this season, featuring 17 times so far under new manager Carlo Ancelotti. Primarily a right-back, Hysaj has often been used on the opposite side of defence, with his versatility proving to be a crucial quality for Ancelotti.
The 24-year-old is under contract in Naples until 2021, meaning Napoli will be in no rush to sell him. Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has forged a reputation as one of football's toughest negotiators, and he certainly will not allow Hysaj to leave the club easily.