Chelsea are ready to severely test Brighton and Hove Albion's desire to keep their highly-rated young defender Ben White.
White, 22, is contracted to Brighton but is on a season-long loan at Leeds United and has been in fine form for Marcelo Bielsa's promotion chasers.
Chelsea scouts have reportedly been impressed with White's displays and have recommended the club make an offer for the centre back in January.
The Blues are able to spend once more after their Fifa transfer ban was reduced and a centre back is a top priority for manager Frank Lampard.
They remain hopeful of prising defender Nathan Ake away from Bournemouth but if that fails, they see White as a great alternative and value the Brighton player at £25m. They believe he is ready to step up from the Championship and compete in the Premier League and the Champions League.
White has also attracted interest from Liverpool and Tottenham but Albion are keen to keep hold of their prize asset.
Brighton head coach Graham Potter is a huge fan of White and views him as a Premier League player for next season.
“He is our player and he has got a future with us and we are looking forward to having him back at the right time. He is a player we like a lot.
"He is at Leeds now. He is on loan. You let that run and settle down at the end of the season."