Transfer news: Chelsea lead race for Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia - reports

Blues set to beat Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham in battle for centre-back

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The Independent Football

Chelsea have the advantage over a group of Premier League clubs all keen to secure the services of Italian defender Andrea Ranocchia.

The towering centre-back has had limited first team opportunities recently at Inter Milan and the club are now said to be willing to cash in on him.

According to reports in Italy, Inter's interest in David Luiz could put Chelsea at the front of the queue for the player, with a potential swap deal being mooted.

The 25-year-old made his Italy debut three years ago in a 1-1 draw against Romania and could potentially be in the side that face England in the 2014 World Cup.

However Ranocchia himself has recently played down any possibility of moving: "Many silly things have been written about me, that I am unhappy and I want to leave.

"I am just thinking about this shirt and paying back the fans for the affection they have for me."

Despite this apparent declaration of loyalty, he is yet to sign a new contract at the club, which has alerted the attention of other Premier League clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United.