What's the story?
Chelsea outcast Davide Zappacosta is due to undergo a medical at AS Roma ahead of a season-long loan, thereby paving way for youngster Reece James to replace himself at Stamford Bridge.
In case you didn't know...
Zappacosta, who will have one year left on his contract at the end of this campaign, arrived at the west London outfit from Torino for an initial £23 million in 2017.
The 27-year-old failed to maintain a regular starting place under Maurizio Sarri, with his appearances reduced to just the Europa League last season. He made only four Premier League appearances last term and is yet to feature for Chelsea under new boss, Frank Lampard.
The heart of the matter
According to renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano, Roma are set to secure the services of Zappacosta very soon, as the full back will undergo a medical later this week ahead of completing a season-long loan move to the Stadio Olimpico.
The Blues were initially open to permanent offers for the Italian, having put a £23 million price tag on him. However, Roma, who have been leading the race for Zappacosta's signature, have made it clear that the price is beyond their means and would prefer an agreement with an option to buy instead.
The move will make the Italy international the third experienced defender to leave Chelsea since May, with David Luiz and Gary Cahill having completed moves to Arsenal and Crystal Palace respectively.
Azpilicueta presently remains Chelsea's first-choice right back under Lampard, who appears to be keen on keeping faith on youth amid the club's transfer ban. With Lampard expected to utilize the credentials of Reece James, we could also see the youngster becoming a regular in the coming months.
Chelsea, who have started their Premier League campaign with a disheartening defeat to Manchester United and a draw against Leicester City, take on Norwich City on Saturday at Carrow Road.