Jose Mourinho hoping to sign Cesc Fabregas before Friday

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Jose Mourinho is hoping to complete a deal to sign Cesc Fabregas - a player who has also been linked with Manchester United - for Chelsea before Friday, according to recent speculation.

As reported by The Daily Mail, the Blues boss is confident that the club have wrapped up a £28 million deal for the talented Barcelona midfielder and is optimistic of concluding the saga before Spain open their 2014 World Cup campaign against the Netherlands in Salvador on Friday night.

The conclusion of the rumours surrounding Fabregas will presumably come as a huge relief to the player himself, with the 27-year-old having found himself at the centre of somewhat of a transfer storm for the second consecutive summer.

Whereas in 2013 Fabregas appeared to be being courted by just Manchester United and David Moyes, this year a whole host of top Premier League clubs seemed keen on bringing him back to the English top-flight.

Indeed, Manchester United - who will be under the management of Louis van Gaal very soon - appear to have been pursuing Fabregas with renewed vigour once again, with recent reports from respected Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri suggesting that the Red Devils had offered him higher wages.

It appears as if Chelsea will win the race for the Spanish international, however, with Mourinho evidently eager to ensure that the club do not suffer following the departure of Stamford Bridge stalwart Frank Lampard.

Lampard - who originally joined Chelsea from London rivals West Ham back in 2001 - is out of contract this summer and will not be extending his 13-year stay.

Although it is certainly fair to say that the experienced Lampard's influence had been on the wane slightly in recent years, his exit certainly leaves a notable void in Mourinho's midfield.

Fabregas, a highly-accomplished player who boasts great vision, passion and passing ability, would certainly appear a more than adequate replacement.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of all with Fabregas, of course, is that he has a wealth of experience of the Premier League already under his belt following a previous seven-year stint with Arsenal.

The move for Fabregas will come as a double swoop for Chelsea, with Atletico Madrid striker and international teammate Diego Costa also expected to join the club soon. 

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Francesc Fabregas
Premier League

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