Chelsea are close to signing Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas after fending off competition from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United. Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham have also been linked with the want-away Spain international.
This is information obtained by leading Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, who claim Fabregas is on the verge of securing a move to the Blues following reports that Frank Lampard has agreed terms on a move to newly-formed MLS outfit New York FC.
Manchester United were reportedly willing to pay Fabregas €6m-a-season net, but the 27-year-old had his heart set on a return to London, encouraging Chelsea to pounce for the former Arsenal star. The Gunners could have brought Fabregas back to the Emirates Stadium, but Arsene Wenger decided that his team did not require strengthening in central midfield. Manchester City also ruled themselves out of the running, while Liverpool and Spurs have been snubbed.
Barcelona are looking to receive around £32m for the man who cost them £35m in the summer of 2011, when Fabregas completed his dream move back to Barcelona following eight years with Arsenal.
Fabregas scored 42 goals and provided 48 assists in 151 matches for Barcelona - but despite his impressive stats, the Barcelona faithful never quite warmed to him and even jeered his performances on occasions during the 2013/14 campaign.
However, news that Fabregas is poised to join Chelsea may surprise Barcelona supporters, who will remember the Spaniard effectively telling Jose Mourinho to 'shut up' earlier this year. The ex-Real Madrid boss, though, may have successfully lured the former Premier League superstar to Stamford Bridge if these latest reports prove to be correct.