Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Ajax defender Ricardo van Rhijn ahead of a move in the January transfer window.

Blues manager Jose Mourinho is already known to be working on a short-list of targets for the new year and Van Rhijn is thought to be among them.

The 22-year-old is widely expected to depart Ajax when the transfer window re-opens and with Cesar Azpilicueta being eyed by Barcelona Chelsea see Van Rhijn as a replacement.