The Sun claims that the promising winger is growing increasingly frustrated at a lack of playing time at Everton, having joined on a season-long agreement last summer, and is looking to move on.
It is reported that Chelsea are ready to cut short his time on Merseyside and bring him back to Stamford Bridge.
They are then looking for him to spend the second-half of the 2014/15 campaign elsewhere, with Derby offered up as one possible destination.
They are, however, well stocked in the creativity department, with Jamie Ward and Johnny Russell favoured options on the flanks.
McClaren has also has the likes of Will Hughes, Craig Bryson and Simon Dawkins at his disposal.
They have seen Jordon Ibe recalled by parent club Liverpool, but boast strength in depth within their ranks
McClaren was on pre-match press duty on Thursday and the Derby Telegraph claims he has ‘ruled out interest’ in taking Atsu once he returns from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ghana.