RB LEIPZIG are lining up a £25million bid for Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, potentially paving the way for Nathan Ake's return to Stamford Bridge.
German publication Bild report that Leipzig are keen to sign Danish centre-back Christensen and think £25m could be enough to tempt Chelsea boss Frank Lampard into letting him leave midway through the season.
Denmark international Christensen, 23, is no stranger to the Bundesliga after starting 62 games in the league during two seasons on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach between 2015 and 2017.
The young Dane has only played in 11 out of Chelsea's 24 league games so far this season which led to talk that he could be surplus to requirements in West London.
However, Christensen has started the side's last three Premier League games alongside Antonio Rudiger, making a Chelsea exit seem unlikely.
The Dane looks to have overtaken Kurt Zouma and England international Fikayo Tomori in Lampard's pecking order which could scupper a proposed return for Ake.
Lampard praised Christensen after Chelsea's 3-0 win over Burnley on January 11.
He said: "I like Andreas as a player. I’ve always liked him. I used to train with him and saw the talent coming through.
"When you see him and you see the height, the athleticism and the quality on the ball, particularly in choice of pass, then I think he can be all the things I want him to be and I want to work towards that. He knows that."
At the beginning of January, SunSport exclusively reported Chelsea were keen to enact their £40m buy-back option on Bournemouth defender Ake but would not push through the deal with Christensen still on the wage bill.
Cherries ace Ake has matured into a top class centre-back since leaving the Blues to join Bournemouth permanently in 2017 for £20m but could rejoin his former club if Christensen were to depart.
Last year's Europa League winners have leaked 32 goals in 24 Premier League games this season and manager Lampard could re-sign Ake to improve his team's defensive record.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is reluctant to lose one of his star players with his side in the relegation zone but will be powerless to prevent a move if Chelsea stump up the money required to activate their buy-back clause.
The Cherries would double their money on Ake making a sizeable £20m profit but the Dutch defender is much more valuable to them on the pitch as they strive for Premier League survival.