Skysports.com understands that up to three clubs are battling it out to sign England star Jack Rodwell from Everton.
Chelsea, though, are very much in pole position to land the Evertonian - who looks set to seal a January move away from Goodison Park.
The 20-year-old is currently sidelined with a hamstring strain and is not expected to play again until the New Year, which means he could already have played his last game for The Toffees.
The elegant midfielder, who can also play in central defence, is contracted to Everton to 2015 - meaning any deal would be a substantial one, but his suitors are well aware of this and are ready to make their move.
Skysports.com understands that both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are also in the reckoning for Rodwell - who made his England debut earlier this term.
However, Chelsea do appear to be very much in pole position to land the Southport-born star and Andre Villas-Boas is seemingly more than happy to spend big on Rodwell.
It is understood Villas-Boas sees Rodwell as an ideal foil for his midfield, but as with City and Spurs, they also realise his versatility is a huge plus point.
As yet no firm bids have been made, but it is highly likely that Everton would want as much time as possible to reinvest some of the fee which is likely to be around £20million.Bet now