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Chelsea closing in on Newcastle defender Taylor

Chelsea are preparing a £9 million bid for Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor.

The Sunday Mirror says the Blues are already planning for the ­introduction next season of the Premier League's home-grown quota system and targeted the ­ex-England Under-21 ­skipper as an ideal recruit to boost their domestic numbers.

The 24-year-old has been on Chelsea's radar since the days of Jose Mourinho, but the looming home-grown quota has hardened their interest this season.

Chelsea scout Bryan "Pop" Robson, a former Magpie, has been a regular visitor to St James' Park this term, where Taylor has been in eye-catching form at the heart of a Magpies defence that has proved one of the meanest in the Championship.

A knee injury has kept Taylor out since January 18, but it isn't as bad as first feared and the centre- back is expected to be playing again in April.

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