Middlesbrough are still hopeful that they can agree a deal to sign defender Tomáš Kalas this summer, according to the player's agent Mithat Halis.
Kalas, who signed a new three-year deal at Chelsea last season, spent last term on loan at Boro where he made 30 appearances in all competitions.
That deal was prompted by a successful loan spell at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, when the Czech defender played 17 times for Boro before they missed on promotion in the play-off final.
The 23-year-old can play at right-back and centre-half, but found it tough to nail down a first team place last season due Emilio Nsue’s fine form on the right side of defence.
Opportunities limited at Chelsea
Even so, with opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge, Halis insists that Boro is still a possibility for the Czech international.
"Kalas wants to stay in England next season, preferably in the Premier League," said his agent.
"He is happy at Chelsea but Middlesbrough are interested."
Kalas was a popular figure on Teesside, where he was praised for his versatility and courage in Boro’s back line.
Back in May, Kalas did remain open about a return to the Riverside, telling Middlesbrough’s Evening Gazette: "I don’t know how many games I’ve played since I came, probably around 40, which is not bad in one and a half years."
The former Cologne loanee said that he would "really think about it" if the option to return permanently arose, after being happy with the first-team opportunies he had been given.
Other targets take priority
While Kalas does remain a target for Boro, Aitor Karanka and his staff are reported to be monitoring other players first before re-opening negotiations over the Czech defender.
Boro have already signed five players this summer, including the goalkeeper Víctor Valdés, and are in advanced talks with Spanish side Valencia about deals for striker Álvaro Negredo and defender Antonio Barragán.