Chelsea and Manchester City are intensifying their pursuit of Palermo defender Simon Kjaer.

The Daily Star says scouts from Eastlands and Stamford Bridge watched Kjaer in Palermo's 2-0 Italian Cup defeat against Lazio on Thursday night.

Palermo previously insisted that Kjaer, who is reported to have an £11m release clause, won't be leaving until the summer at the earliest.

But Italian bosses Roberto Mancini and Carlo Ancelotti are ready to test the Serie A side's resolve to keep him. Kjaer is understood to prefer to stay in Italy until the end of the season to safeguard his hopes of playing in the World Cup.