Chelsea are to lodge an improved bid for Alvaro Pereira after Porto rejected an opening offer of £16.6million for the Uruguayan international reports the Guardian.
The 25-year-old, who can play on the left side of defence or midfield, has been heavily linked with a move to west London as a direct replacement for Yuri Zhirkov - who joined Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala earlier this month.
Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has been credited with an interest in a number of his star turns during his former post in Portugal, but it is Pereira who looks most likely to complete a move to Stamford Bridge before the close of the transfer window.
Reports emanating from Portuguese sports newspaper A Bola suggest that the player has in fact been left out of Porto's Super Cup squad to face Barcelona, and is set to join Chelsea for €30million in the coming days.
The fact that Porto have already signed a replacement for Pereira in the form of Alex Sandro, it appears that the player's departure from the Estadio Dragao is imminent as the Blues close in on another of their summer targets.
With a £26million release clause in his existing contract, it is not believed that Chelsea would be willing to meet that valuation, but are prepared to improve on their initial bid.
Pereira's signing would in fact facilitate the trimming of the Blues squad in order to comply with the Barclays Premier League's 25-man rule - so his arrival casts yet more doubt over the respective future of Florent Malouda and Yossi Benayoun, both of whom have been linked with the Stamford Bridge exit door.
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