Chelsea target Lucas Digne has begun talks with Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa in the last few days.
The Everton left-back has interest from the two Premier League sides, along with Newcastle United who are outsiders in the race for his signature.
Chelsea’s inaction on signing Digne after his public spat with Toffees manager Rafael Benitez is because their main priority remains to recall Emerson from his loan at Lyon.
The terms of Chelsea’s loan arrangement with the Ligue 1 giants prohibit a recall due to the presence of an option to buy in the contract.
The French side are unlikely to activate the option unless they finish in the top three and qualify for the Champions League next season, but are protected by their contract.
They ideally want to keep Emerson due to him being one of the club’s best players this season.
However, Thomas Tuchel clearly wants Emerson more than Digne after losing Ben Chilwell to a cruciate ligament injury in November.