Blues in for Flavio
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Brazilian is believed to be surplus to requirements at El Santiago Bernabeu after failing to really make his mark in the Spanish capital.
A transfer seems almost certain this summer, although he is under contract until 2006, and Chelsea are the first club to register their interest in his signature.
Blues boss Claudio Ranieri has already drawn up a list of targets, with another Real star Geremi already in his sights, and Flavio is a player the Italian coach admires.
The wily former Atletico Madrid chief is reluctant to pay the sort of fee that Real paid Deportivo La Coruna for the player in 2000, as it was in excess of £15 million.
Consequently, the Londoners are thought to prefer a season-long loan deal, rather than an outright transfer.
Real's Jorge Valdano, who handles much of the transfer business at the club, is set to push for a cash arrangement - probably a double involving both players.
Arsenal tried to sign the 27-year-old before he headed for the European champions a couple of years ago.