Chelsea will have to stump up at least £15 million if they are to be successful in their pursuit of Manchester United target Fredy Guarin.
According to the Daily Express, the Blues have been quoted at least £15 million by Inter Milan for the Colombian midfielder. Those reports also suggest that the Serie A outfit believe that Guarin's head has been turned by the potential opportunity to ply his trade in the English top-flight.
27-year-old Guarin, a versatile player capable of playing anywhere across the midfield, joined Inter on a permanent deal last May after proving a success during a four-month loan spell at the San Siro.
The Colombia international, who will hope to feature prominently during this summer's World Cup on his home continent, has suddenly found himself at the centre of yet more transfer speculation in recent months - with both Chelsea and Manchester United having been linked with a potential winter swoop for his services.
However, it looked as if both Premier League title rivals were set to be disappointed yesterday after reports suggested that Guarin was no longer for sale.
Chelsea, who currently sit third in the Premier League table ahead of their trip to newly-promoted Hull City on Saturday, do not appear to have a particular shortage of midfielders at their disposal, but Jose Mourinho will know that quality additions are necessary if his side are to edge ahead of Arsenal and Manchester City in the race for the title.
Manchester United, meanwhile, certainly should be in the market for midfield additions following their woeful recent form.
After being knocked out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage following defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford last weekend, David Moyes' side suffered another embarrassing 2-1 loss on Tuesday night at the hands of Gus Poyet's Sunderland in the Capital One Cup.
While most Manchester United fans would presumably agree that there are several weaknesses in their current squad that urgently require attention during the January transfer window, the lack of creativity in the middle of the pitch does seem the most urgent.
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