Everton have seen a £15 million offer for Franck Kessie rejected by Atlanta.
A host of European clubs are tracking the midfielder including Chelsea, Juventus and Arsenal, and the Blues have attempted to steal an early march on the duo.
Ronald Koeman is pressing ahead with his transfer plans after tying up the signing of Ademola Lookman and Morgan Schneiderlin’s impending arrival.
Chelsea are expected to be in pole position to land the 20-year-old at the end of this season with Antonio Conte said to be a huge admirer of the player.
The Londoners are understood to be prepared to pay up to £20 million in a bid to edge out their closes competitors in the race for his signature.