Chelsea is clearly short of options in midfield following Cesc Fabregas’ switch to AS Monaco.
The Spaniard ended his four-and-a-half years affair with the Blues to link up with former Arsenal teammate, Thierry Henry.
Fabregas influence frantically dwindled following Maurizio Sarri’s arrival last summer. Still, the Blues will miss his industry. Fabregas’ subtlety, technique, vision and natural instinct for when to play the killer pass made him an excellent play maker.
He was also very much a hustle and bustle type – moving from box-to-box with a license to pretty much do as he pleased.
The Blues, though, have some talented midfielders in their ranks; Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley.
However, it appears as though, Sarri would relish a different dimension.
According to the Telegraph, Chelsea has agreed on deals with both Zenit St. Petersburg’s Leandro Paredes and Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella.
Moments after Fabregas deal to Monaco was confirmed, Evening Standard journalist Simon Johnson tweeted this update:
If that report is anything to go by, then Chelsea is much closer to signing Paredes than Barella, a decision that will be welcomed by the majority of supporters who have been clamouring for his addition.
The former Roma and Boca Juniors star, in fact, has retweeted the post of a Chelsea fan who replied to a question on whether Chelsea should bring in Barella or Paredes.
Leandro Paredes, no debatehttps://t.co/cSfsCbaBmK— NB (@NinoBrown0728) January 12, 2019
Better than Fabregas bro— NB (@NinoBrown0728) January 13, 2019
Welcome to chelsea— ZOOLAR_JNR (@Temtop7) January 12, 2019
Welcome to chelsea— Denis Kibaara (@KibaaraDenis) January 12, 2019
😂 Came on bro future Fabregas 🤣❤️❤️😍⚽— Chelsea Fc (@sou_chelseafc) January 13, 2019
According to Calciomercato, the Argentinean is determined to leave Zenit in January despite a £4 million-a-year deal. the same outlet claims that Chelsea is willing to offer £30 million and a contract until 2023.
Paredes has represented the Russian giants in over 60 games, scoring 10 and assisting 15 as at time of writing. He’s blessed with remarkable passing ability and precision, and a touch once described by Breaking the Lines as “smoother than midnight velvet.”
He is highly-regarded by Russian football observers, including Manuel Veth, who once described the Argentine as “almost like a cross between an artistic libero of the Franz Beckenbauer category and a modern deep-lying playmaker.”
Sounds like a tantalizing replacement, indeed.