Having finally allowed Cesc Fabregas to leave for Monaco on a three and a half year deal, Chelsea have already lined-up two replacements for him.
According to The Daily Mirror, Chelsea have identified both Leandro Paredes of Zenit St. Petersburg and Nicolo Barella of Cagliari as the men to replace him in the Stamford Bridge midfield, and are trying to line up deals for both of them.
Paredes is a 24-year old Argentine international who began his career with Boca Juniors, before spells in Italy with Roma, Chievo and Empoli earned him a big money move to Russia. Valued at £30 million, he is thought to be the more likely of the two to move during the current transfer window.
By contrast, Barello is three years his junior and a current Italian international. A box-to-box midfielder he is renowned for his vision, stamina and physical strength, as well as the ability to score with his left-foot. He is valued at £40 million, but Chelsea fans may have to wait until the summer to see him pull on a blue shirt as he is reluctant to leave his present club mid-season.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.