CHELSEA are set to snub a permanent swoop for Denis Zakaria this summer, according to reports.
The Blues signed the Swiss midfielder on a season-long loan deal from Juventus last September.
Chelsea chiefs possess an option to make the switch permanent for £30million at the end of the season.
But according to Sky Germany's Florian Plettenberg, they are unlikely to do so.
He claims that Zakaria could return to Juventus, with Chelsea on the hunt for a new midfielder to replace him.
The 26-year-old has made ten appearances for the West Londoners this term.
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Zakaria has made a trio of substitute appearances in recent weeks, having previously been missing with a hamstring injury.
His Juve contract runs until 2026.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are plotting transfer alternatives.
Plettenberg adds that West Ham star Declan Rice is a "top candidate".
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The England ace's contract at London Stadium is set to expire in 2024, with Arsenal and Manchester United having also been linked.
Hammers skipper Rice spent eight years in Chelsea's academy before being released as a 15-year-old in 2014.
He subsequently came through at West Ham, going on to make 229 appearances for the East Londoners.
Chelsea have also been linked with Rice's Three Lions team-mate Jude Bellingham, as well as Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Manu Kone.
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