Look out Chelsea? £9m Cole replacement's price-tag may be rising

Juventus and AC Milan have both been named as suitors for Senad Lulic.

Ashley Cole’s expiring contract has been an underlying narrative in Chelsea’s successful season, the 33-year-old looking set to move on come July.

Boss Jose Mourinho has already turned to Cesar Azpilicueta as his left-back of choice this term, though reports continue to claim that an alternative option for the role will be sought this summer.

Ricardo Rodriguez of Wolfsburg and Luke Shaw have been view as prime candidates in this regard, though each come with a heavy price-tag from employers inclined to hold on to them.

Lazio’s versatile Bosnian Lulic has cropped up as a less expensive option, a £9m valuation placed on his head by talkSPORT.

Il Messaggero have now claimed that Juventus and Milan are both keen to add the man known as ‘The Train’ to their ranks - though at a noticeably higher fee.

The Roman newspaper contends that Aquile president Claudio Lotito - in hot water with the club’s fans at present - will be willing to part ways with Lulic for between £12m and £15m.

Lulic is reportedly open to the idea of a new adventure away from the Stadio Olimpico, with fresh quotes suggesting the summer may indeed yield a change of scenery.

“I am a Lazio player and will continue to do my job,” he said.

“I have a contract [until 2017] and at the end of the season we will see [what happens].”

Juventus are known to be shrewdly frugal on the transfer market whilst Milan are set to take a financial hit from failure to qualify for the Champions League in a disappointing campaign.

The premium price put forth by Il Messagero may be closely linked with the idea of Lazio selling to a domestic rival, though interest from the pair and Chelsea’s known financial clout could see the Londoners forced to splash the cash to get their man.

Still, Lulic would likely present a cheaper investment than others who have been tied to Stamford Bridge, with the Blues in a position to see off Juventus and Milan in the race from an economic standpoint.

The situation is one to keep an eye on - especially as Lulic will take to the pitch for Bosnia in the World Cup this summer and could gain repute with a solid showing on the game’s greatest stage.

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