With the departure of Cesc Fabregas imminent, Chelsea are reported to be close to finalizing deals for Cagliari's Nicolo Barella and Leandro Paredes of Zenit Saint Petersburg.

The two are set to replace the departing Cesc Fabregas with Danny Drinkwater also rumored to be on his way out of the club. Barella is a 21-year-old who has been capped four times by the Italian national team but Chelsea are said to be put off by Cagliari's £45million valuation.

Chelsea, however, have an upper hand, in the pursuit of Ballera as Gianfranco Zola may be able to help with negotiations due to his close connections with Cagliari – who he previously played for and managed. Paredes is a player that Chelsea have been interested in for some time as he was linked with a move to London when he left Roma, but he opted to join the Russian side instead of a move to the Premier League.