Chelsea have joined the pursuit of the France international Loic Remy, who looks increasingly likely to conclude a move to the Premier League by tomorrow's transfer deadline.
Eager to raise funds for recruitment plans that may include the signing of Queens Park Rangers renegade Joey Barton, Marseille have made Remy available for around £15 million (Dh87m).
Manchester City, who need to replace Adam Johnson, have informally inquired about Remy, who is comfortable both as a centre forward and on the right wing.
Chelsea also see the 25 year old as a possible solution to a remaining weakness in this season's heavily restructured squad - a lack of options at centre forward.
Roman Abramovich's clear out has seen Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou all exit Stamford Bridge over the last year, while Fernando Torres's recovery remains a work in progress.
Roberto Di Matteo has limited faith in Daniel Sturridge, who may yet be sold after unsuccessfully petitioning for an improved contract and more playing time at centre forward, while Romelu Lukaku's poor debut season has seen the Belgian loaned to West Bromwich Albion.
Though new signing Victor Moses could be used in the position, the former England Under 21 international scored just eight Premier League goals in his three seasons at Wigan Athletic.
With Chelsea's efforts to extract Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid or Hulk from Porto hindered by asking prices of €60m (Dh270m) and €50m respectively, Remy has emerged as a more conservatively priced option.
A regular goalscorer for Nice then Marseille, the Frenchman offers extensive Champions League experience.
Tottenham Hotspur are also interested in Remy as Daniel Levy decides how best to reinvest the income from Luka Modric's transfer to Real Madrid.
The Croat's sale raised an initial €30m with a further €8m in performance-related variables and the proceeds from two friendlies with Real to come, but Levy's fastidiousness over player purchase has allowed two powerful rivals to compete for Remy.
Some of the income from Modric has been committed to the purchase of Moussa Dembele after Tottenham triggered a £15m buyout clause in the Belgian's contract with Fulham on Tuesday. Levy is also working to maximise his income from player sales.
Tottenham's chairman remains hopeful of offloading Michael Dawson to another Premier League side, and expects to sell Rafael van der Vaart to Hamburg.
The Bundesliga club have agreed personal terms with Van der Vaart, but remain some distance from meeting Levy's bullish €20m asking price for the Dutch international.
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