Chelsea and Manchester United are both interested in signing Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to Bild.
The Greece international joined Dortmund from Werder Bremen in 2013 and has proved to be a great signing, making 155 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring seven goals and helping them win the DFB-Pokal during the 2016-17 season.
According to the report, Chelsea and United were impressed after scouting the 29-year-old towards the end of the season and both sides could make moves to sign the defender, whose contract expires in 2019.
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc recently praised Sokratis for his development following the departure of Mats Hummels, who left to join Bayern Munich in 2016.
Zorc said: “It shows what role he plays and what development he has made. After the departure of Mats Hummels, Papa took the lead in us.”
So far there has been no firm approach from either of the Premier League clubs regarding a transfer for Sokratis, who is valued at around €28m by Bundesliga giants Dortmund.
Chelsea’s switch to a three-man defence was the turning point of their 2016-17 season, with the combination of Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and David Luiz proving the perfect match as the Blues went on to win the Premier League after an inauspicious start.
United have chopped and changed their centre-back pairing in recent times, with Eric Bailly impressing after his summer switch from Villarreal and Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Daily Blind and Marcos Rojo all featuring intermittently due to respective injury problems.