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 Chelsea identify Thiago Silva's replacement

Chelsea have reportedly identified their preferred replacement for veteran centre-back Thiago Silva.

Silva is in the latter days of his career at 39, and after three seasons at Stamford Bridge.

The Brazilian will leave huge boots to be filled at the West London club, but Chelsea are confident that they have found someone who can fill the void left by the former Paris Saint-Germain captain.

According to TEAMtalk, Chelsea have registered an interest in Sporting Lisbon and Ivorian defender Ousmane Diomande, whose performances for club and country have caught the eye of the Blues.

Diomande was impressive in Ivory Coast's most recent matches, where Chelsea scouts watched him.

The 19-year-old is quickly becoming one of the finest teenage defenders in Europe.

However, Chelsea will face stern competition from Premier League rivals Arsenal for Diomande.

Mauricio Pochettino's side must be prepared to pay his full £69 million release clause if they intend to sign him.