Chelsea are eyeing AS Roma star Daniele de Rossi as a replacement for crocked midfield ace Michael Essien. New Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas needs to find a midfield signing with Essien suffering a knee injury in preseason training last week.

Gazzetta dello Sport says with Roma struggling to agree new terms with De Rossi, Chelsea and Villas-Boas are lining up a bid to take advantage of the situation.

The 2006 World Cup winner had already been linked with Chelsea under Carlo Ancelotti's tenure.

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