Report: Chelsea step up pursuit of Fabregas' successor, have offered £26.8m for his services
What's the story?
In the wake of the departure of the technically gifted midfielder Cesc Fabregas from the Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, who are desperately searching for his replacement, have launched an initial bid of £26.8 million for Zenit St. Petersburg ace Leandro Paredes, according to Simon Johnson of Evening Standard.
Blues manager Maurizio Sarri had himself admitted that he wants a replacement for the Spaniard in his squad, because of the vulnerabilities shown by summer signing Jorginho in their recent Premier League fixture against Newcastle last weekend.
In case you didn't know...
Fabregas holds the record for being the fastest to reach 100 assists in the Premier League.
Paredes who has nine caps for Argentina so far, had stated his desire to leave his current club and Chelsea are looking to make the most of the situation.
The heart of the matter...
According to the report, Paredes wants a move back to his boyhood club Boca Juniors, but the Blues are adamant on changing his mind and are confident of bringing him to the Stamford Bridge.
They are ready to offer the 24-year-old a four-and-a-half year contract that'll see the player earning around £80,000-a-week.
There's one catch though. Zenit, who had only purchased the Argentine from Italian side Roma in 2017 for around £24 million plus add-ons, may not readily accept their initial offer and will only be willing to accept the sum if the player pushes through with the deal to see himself out of the Saint Petersburg Stadium.
Chelsea are also being linked with Cagliari midfield sensation, Nicolo Barella but it seems unlikely that the Italian will be leaving the Serie A anytime soon.
Rumour Rating - 6/10
Simon Johnson is a reliable news source and is known to have current sources. Also, Sarri has time and again called his club hierarchy's attention to the need of reinforcements in his team's midfield, especially since Fabregas left the club.
Paredes is a solid midfielder, who has 3 goals and 2 assists to his name in the Russian league so far and offers a cheap alternative to Barella, who could cost the Blues as much as £45m.
Chelsea need a midfielder, that's a fact. But it remains to be seen whether they'll be able to land their target before the transfer windows slams shut in two weeks.