Roman Abramovich is reportedly set to splash out on two key Real Madrid stars this summer, at the specific request of Jose Mourinho.
The suggestion from the popular Italian transfer gossip site, is that Chelsea are preparing a blockbuster €200 million raid on the Santiago Bernabéu this summer, with the aim of landing both Raphael Varane and Gareth Bale.
Manchester United have also been strongly linked with interest for both players, with speculation from various outlets, including The Star, that Spanish keeper David De Gea might be used as a make-weight for negotiations with Real Madrid.
Although there have rumours the Welshman could make a surprise return to Tottenham, as they consider a summer clear-out and even though Arsenal are widely tipped to enter the fray for Varane, it seems the cash Chelsea and Manchester United seem prepared to throw at any potential deals puts them in pole-position.
In Spain, various of the leading media outlets have suggested Gareth Bale is more likely than ever to make a return to the Premier League, rather than spend another season with Real Madrid in La Liga. There are also suggestions that Raphael Varane is weighing up his options, either with assurances of more protagonism at his current club, or moving elsewhere to get guaranteed starts.
Despite his brace of goals at the weekend against Levante in La Liga, which helped his side to a much needed victory, Bale has been the target of much criticism, either for what are considered selfish displays, or that even with the positive contributions he's genuinely made, he's still not meeting the demandingly high standards of the Bernabéu crowd.