Chelsea held negotiations with 20-year-old French centre-back

The London club have reportedly made contact with Strasbourg over a winter move for Mohamed Simakan, with the English manager scouring the market for Thiago Silva’s long-term replacement.

Thiago Silva has impressed at the heart of Blues back-line since arriving in the summer and is ready to be offered a one-year extension at Chelsea but Frank is planning for the future, given Brazil international recently turned 36.

Chelsea have ‘positioned themselves’ to sign the 20-year-old centre-back who has established himself as one of the finest young defenders in Ligue 1 over the last two campaigns. It’s understood the French club are holding out for an offer of at least €15m for their prized possession.

The report claims both Blues and Nice have approached Strasbourg chiefs over a possible transfer this winter but neither club has made an offer for the France Under-20 international as it stands. AC Milan stay interested in Mohamed after having a €14m bid rejected for the talented defender in the summer.

There has been no indication that Blues search for a central defender will have any bearing on the club’s plans to offer Silva an extension on his remain in Chelsea. Blues boss Lampard recently admitted he was ‘a bit tentative’ about signing Thiago Silva but has been blown away by the Brazilian defender’s outstanding start at London club.

Asked whether Thiago Silva had performed even better than he expected, Frank Lampard said: ‘I think so. I remember playing in the Premier League at 36 and I couldn’t play like he’s playing, week in week out. I was in and out of the team and I could feel it at that stage of my career.’