Chelsea give up on Modric for time being and focus on defender

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With the signing of Juan Manuel Mata set to be officially completed in the next few days, Chelsea can now move on to their next transfer target and this means that Andre Villas-Boas is to return to his former club Porto for a defender.

Chelsea are still massively interested in capturing Luka Modric from Tottenham, but after having three offers already knocked back for the Croatian playmaker, they are set to turn their immediate intentions elsewhere.

With Yuri Zhirkov returning to Russia to join Anzhi Makhachkala, Chelsea are short of cover should anything happen to Ashley Cole.

This has led to Villas-Boas deciding to raid the Portuguese champions for the first time since his departure for Alvaro Pereira.

The Uruguayan, who can also operate in midfield, has a buyout clause in his contract thought to be €30m, but Villas-Boas hopes that an offer close to £17m will be enough to secure his signature.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are also believed to be drawing up a shortlist of alternatives for Modric if an agreement is not reached before the end of the transfer window, with another Porto star Joao Moutinho among those being considered.

Chelsea’s biggest offer for Modric thus far has been £30m, but with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy refusing to do business at any price, any approach they make may prove in vain, even though the midfielder has stated his wish to leave.

If Chelsea do manage to complete their treble swoop for Mata, Modric and Pereira, this would certainly make them even bigger title challengers for Manchester United and Manchester City.

Chelsea’s odds are 11/4 to win the Premier League title and their bid continues at home to newly-promoted Norwich next.

Unsurprisingly, Chelsea are considered heavy favourites to secure victory and are 1/7 to take the three points.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.