Chelsea have made an initial £26.8 million bid for Zenit Saint Petersburg midfielder Leandro Paredes.
According to the London Evening Standard Chelsea have identified Argentina international Paredes as the man they want to replace Cesc Fabregas, who recently left Stamford Bridge to join Monaco.
Paredes moved to Zenit for £24 million in 2017 after impressing in Serie A with Roma. The 24-year-old is renowned for his passing ability, something Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri deems essential for a holding midfielder within his preferred system.
Former Napoli boss Sarri has made it clear that he wants Chelsea to sign a player to compete with Jorginho at the base of his midfield, although Zenit are expected to demand more than the £26 million fee currently on offer.
Paredes was thought to be keen on a return to his homeland with Boca Juniors, but Chelsea are hopeful that the offer of a four-and-a-half-year contract worth £80,000 per week will convince him to extend his stay in Europe.