Chelsea have identified ​Atalanta midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi as a potential target once their transfer ban elapses, following a recommendation from club legend Claude Makelele.

UEFA barred the Blues from making any new additions to their squad for two transfer windows, but the side will be allowed to make their proposed move for the Ukrainian at the end of the 2019/20 campaign. 

Chelsea scout Makelele has been keeping a close eye on the 26-year-old after his scintillating start to the season.

Ruslan Malinovskyi

Having seen Malinovskyi impress for both club and country in recent months, the former Stamford Bridge favourite returned a raving report to the ​Blues hierarchy, who have now added the Atalanta star to a list of targets for the future.

According to the ​Express, Chelsea will continue to monitor his progress in ​Serie A and the ​Champions League, before they make a final decision on whether to follow up their interest.

Malinovskyi joined La Dea from Belgian outfit Genk over the off-season for a fee of £12m, having been a standout performer during his three-and-a-half-year stint at Luminus Arena.

The Blue and Whites were crowned as national champions last term, with the man in question an integral part of their success after netting 13 goals across 37 appearances in 2019/19.


Prior to that victorious campaign, Malinovskyi had been one of the first names on the Genk teamsheet, though he only began adding more goals to his game in recent seasons.

Chelsea coach Frank Lampard has gained a reputation as a manager who gives young players an opportunity in his teams. However, the Blues legend is also eager to add experience to his squad, of which the Shakhtar Donetsk academy product has plenty.

Malinovskyi's career total of 55 goals in 264 club appearances demonstrates his familiarity with top-level football, with 28 of those matches coming in European competition.

For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter!