Chelsea

Chelsea in advanced talks to sign £31m Fabregas replacement – not Nicolo Barela

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Chelsea are reportedly in advanced talks to sign Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Leandro Paredes according to reports in Europe. The impending departure of Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas to Monaco has made it important for the club to sign a replacement.

Paredes and Calgiari hotshot Nicolo Barella had been suggested by media sources as a potential replacement for the former Barcelona midfielder. It was believed that the Blues were preparing a bid worth £45 million for Barella. However, Sportitalia claims that Chelsea are unwilling to splash a steep fee for an inexperienced player.

The Blues have turned their attention to Paredes as he has experience playing in the Champions League and is relatively cheaper. The Argentine midfielder is valued at £35 million by Zenit, which is seen by Chelsea as a reasonable price.

The Premier League club are expected to face competition from Italian giants AC Milan, who are reeling after missing out on signing Monaco-bound Fabregas.

Paredes is believed to be highly rated by Chelsea scouts due to his style of play which is reminiscent of Jorginho. The 24-year-old is also tenacious and able to play the high pressing style favoured by Sarri.

Paredes joined Zenit from Roma in 2017 and has become an integral player for the Russian division side.

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