Chelsea plot new transfer bids for two young defenders to strengthen their wobbly defence

London calling: Stones (left) and Marquinhos are both on Chelsea’s shopping list

Chelsea are ready to back Jose Mourinho with a fresh move for John Stones in January.

The struggling Premier League champions have also made Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos a candidate as they look to strengthen their suspect back four.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich has already taken the unusual step of sanctioning a public statement expressing the club’s backing for manager Mourinho in the wake of last Saturday’s shock home defeat to Southampton.

The Chelsea players have also come out to defend their under-fire boss following criticism of his methods, with Diego Costa and Ramires both speaking out this week.

The club now intend to prove their support in the winter window if, as Mourinho has promised, he is able to get them back into top four contention by then from their current unfamiliar position of 16th.

Chelsea had moves for Stones and Marquinhos, both 21, rejected during the summer.

Everton refused four bids for England international Stones, the last of £38million, as the Merseysiders stood firm.

The Londoners instead picked up another centre-back, Papy Djilobodji, in a surprise £2.7m deal with French side Nantes.

Despite Chelsea’s defensive problems, however, the 26-year-old Senegal international has been unable to break into the first team, playing just ONE minute as a sub in their League Cup win at Walsall and is likely to go out on loan mid-season.

Djilobodji’s cut-price signing came after PSG turned down a late Chelsea bid of £30.6m bid for Marquinhos.
The Brazil international has helped the Paris club win the last two French titles, the French Cup and the League Cup. He has grown frustrated, however, at being third choice behind the partnership of Thiago Silva and ex-Chelsea man David Luiz.

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Former PSG team-mate and countryman Alex last month urged Marquinhos to quit the club in search of regular first-team action.

Alex, now with Italy’s AC Milan, said: “Marquinhos would fit in at any big European club, his problem is that two of the best players in the world in his position are ahead of him.

“If I was in his place I would leave PSG – especially when all the big clubs want him “During every transfer window, he gets magnificent offers.

“He’s young and should be playing to show his worth.”

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