Chelsea closing in on £15m defender from Southampton

Chelsea are closing in on their fourth signing of the summer with Southampton defender Cedric Soares nearing a £15m transfer to Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Conte is keen to strengthen his defence in wide areas and had targeted Juventus wing-back Alex Sandro and Tottenham’s Danny Rose at the start of the summer.

However, Chelsea have been frustrated in their efforts for both players and have turned to Portugal international Cedric as a rival for Victor Moses.

The 27-year-old moved to the Saints for £4.7m in 2015 and Manuel Pellegrino’s men stand to triple that with the defender’s £15m move to west London, according to the Mirror.

Conte wants to add at least two more once Cedric’s move is completed with central midfield and centre-back his priorities.

Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk handed in a transfer request last week and Chelsea remain interested in the Dutchman.

However, the former Celtic man is believed to favour a move to Liverpool, though the Reds’ history with Southampton complicates any potential move.