The Daily Star says new Blues boss Maurizio Sarri is keen on Daniele Rugani, who he worked with a former club Empoli.
But Juventus are playing hardball over a fee, with around £45m being demanded for the Italy international.
Chelsea had moved on to Rugani’s team-mate Mattia Caldara instead, with the 24-year-old costing £10m less.
However he now looks to be heading to AC Milan along with striker Gonzalo Higuain in a deal which will see centre-back Leonardo Bonucci head in the opposite direction.
And TMW reports Chelsea are still tracking Rugani ‘hard’ as they look to get a new defender in before next week’s transfer deadline.