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Rumour: Chelsea to sign Fabregas replacement with Barella and Paredes lined up

Bengaluru, Jan 9: Chelsea want a replacement for Cesc Fabregas to be signed by the end of the week and reportedly are closing in on the signings of either of the midfield duo Nicolo Barella from Cagliari or Zenit St Petersburg’s Leandro Paredes.

Fabregas's playing time at Stamford Bridge has reduced massively with Jorginho occupying the No 5 role in midfield. And with the Spaniard only has six months left in his deal he now looks to call time on his Chelsea adventure in order to save Thierry Henry’s struggling Monaco side.

However, the Spaniard is the only senior option left to play in the deep-lying playmaker role of Jorginho and with his exit certainly to leave a hole in Chelsea’s squad manager Maurizio Sarri has reportedly asked the Chelsea board to find him a proper replacement in January.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has reportedly thus blocked Fabregas's move until the Blues have agreed a deal for his replacement and consequently now have reportedly targetted the two midfielders with the defending FA Cup winners plan to wrap up a deal for either Barella or Paredes before the end of the week.

Barella, the 21-year-old is said to be the top priority of Sarri having known him since his Serie A days while his other target Paredes has been touted as the backup option for the Italian youngster. Paredes too spent time in Serie A previously, playing for Chievo, Roma and Empoli before moving to Russia in July 2017 and is also a known figure to Sarri.

Barella who has been making a wave at Italy for Cagliari is reportedly valued at £45m by Cagliari while Paredes’ fee is still unspecified.

The Blues are said to be put off at first by Cagliari's £45million valuation of Barella, who has been capped four times by his native Italy though still they are understood to be in contention, hoping to reduce the price.

Chelsea are said to be willing to bid up to £32m for Barella but should the Italian side still act untouched by the offer, Parades could turn out as a more likely target.

However, apart from Chelsea, both the midfielders are said to be attracting interests from elsewhere as well. Barella is reportedly a target of both Inter Milan and Napoli while the 24-year-old Paredes is said to be attracting interest from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-German.

Chelsea certainly now have to act fast to secure the signature of any of the midfielder who are also expected to make other signings with a winger and a striker.

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Story first published: Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 12:14 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 9, 2019