Chelsea & Manchester United handed boost in £12.5m star chase

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Chelsea, Manchester United and Southampton would all appear to have been handed a major boost in the race to sign Fredy Guarin, with Inter president Erick Thohir having hinted that the player could leave the club.

27-year-old Guarin, who joined the Serie A side on a permanent basis in May 2012, has impressed for Walter Mazzarri's side this season, netting three goals and providing four assists at the world-famous San Siro.

Such crucial displays in midfield have seen the Colombian playmaker linked with a switch to the Premier League.

Last month, Premier League champions Manchester United - who ended a wretched run of form under David Moyes with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Swansea at Old Trafford on Saturday - were linked with a potential move for the former Porto star.

Top-flight rivals Chelsea have also been strongly linked with Guarin, with Jose Mourinho's side said to have discussed a transfer worth £12.5 million for the player with his current employers.

Most recently, Southampton became another possible English destination for Guarin, with Inter reportedly prepared to offer him as part of an exchange deal to sign Italian international striker Pablo Osvaldo.

And while it remains unclear indeed which of those three clubs is leading the race for Guarin, it appears as if Inter, although evidently desperate to see him stay, could be resigned to his loss.

"Guarín is a great player, I like him a lot. We would obviously love to keep him, but the situation in Europe is not like in Indonesia," Thohir was quoted by the Daily Mirror.

"When there are great offers from big clubs, we have to take them into account. And above all, we can’t make a player stay when his heart is not in it, but at another club."

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