CHELSEA have launched an official bid of £26.8million for Zenit Saint Petersburg star Leandro Paredes, according to reports.
The Evening Standard claim they have earmarked the Argentine as the ideal replacement for Cesc Fabregas who recently joined Monaco.
However, it is also said that Chelsea may have a problem as the Russians will reject their opening offer.
They paid Roma £24million to sign him in July 2017 and want a significant profit on a player who has impressed during his time at the club.
Chelsea have turned their attention to the 24-year-old as Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella, 21, is reportedly not keen on moving to England.
And they might now look to offer Parades a bumper deal to convince him to make the switch to Stamford Bridge.
The reports claims they are willing to offer him a four-year contract worth £80,000 per week.
He has previously suggested he might look to leave the club but it was thought he would prefer a return to boyhood club Boca Juniors.
Paredes has been capped nine times by Argentina and Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted he is desperate for some experienced players to help his side.
The Italian has identified his midfield as a major problem and said he would have substituted Jorginho in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle but did not have the options.
It was another unconvincing win for the Blues, who have stuttered after an excellent start to life under the former Napoli manager.
“Today Jorginho was in trouble and on the bench there wasn’t a player for that position. I need an option for Jorginho,” Sarri said after the Newcastle game.
“After the goal I think we thought ‘now it’s easy’, but it wasn’t.
“We slept for 20, 25 minutes, so at the end of the first half we were in trouble. We need to improve in the mental reaction.”
And he has previously claimed they need at least two new players in the January transfer window.
Sari is understood to be keen on bringing in a new striker as well.
Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud have just six Premier League goals between them this season and Gonzalo Higuain is understood to be their top target.
He is currently on loan at AC Milan from Juventus but Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso recently revealed his head had been turned by Chelsea’s interest.