Chelsea table offer for Leeds United transfer target Ivan Lepinjica

Chelsea are ready to battle Leeds for Croatian midfielder Ivan Lepinjica, it’s claimed.

Both sides are looking to bolster their ranks this month.

Chelsea are chasing a top-four place and have now had a transfer ban lifted.

Leeds, meanwhile, are desperate to secure a return to the Premier League following a 16-year absence.

According to Croatian website Tportal , Lepinjica – who is on the books at Rijeka – is being monitored by the duo.

The 20-year-old midfielder is highly rated and viewed as a future star.

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But Rijeka are refusing to be bullied into selling their prized asset.

It’s suggested Chelsea have already had a £3.5m knocked back.

Marcelo Bielsa and Frank Lampard aren’t the only managers sniffing around, though.

West Brom are keen – along with Serie A sides Juventus, Udinese, Atalanta, Sampdoria and Fiorentina.

Leeds lost 1-0 to Arsenal last night in the FA Cup third round following a spirited performance.

“We wanted to beat them and we tried to win the match,” he said after the match.

Frank Lampard is ready to splash the cash in the January transfer window

“The first half was what we wished. We did three important things.

“We pressed well their playing out.

“We made the first pass uncomfortable and easy for our defenders to anticipate and in this way we avoided the striker being involved in the play.

“When we recovered the ball quickly in the opponents’ half, we were able to combine with fast passes.

“That happened in the first half and we didn’t do it in the second half.

“We thought we were in good condition to repeat what we did in the first half and it wasn’t like that.

“In the second half we understood it was difficult to keep control as we did in the first half. We should have tried to play the match more balanced.”