Chelsea are ready to prove once again that the World Cup is no obstacle to completing a blockbuster transfer by chasing down a £10m deal for Alex Song over the next fortnight, despite his focus being on helping Cameroon end a 20-year hoodoo on football's biggest stage in South America.
The Blues have already raided Barcelona once this summer for an ex-Arsenal star, after yesterday confirming a £27.5m deal for Cesc Fagregas, but their pragmatic, swift approach to this summer's transfer market is set to continue with a move for Song.
Barca have told the 26-year-old he is free to leave in a cut-price deal this summer after failing to ever really establish his credentials as a starter during two seasons at the Camp Nou, which the Metro has today reported means Chelsea are ready to pounce.
Song may have failed to prove his true worth in a star-studded Barca squad, but is a proven Premier League performer that shone during his final season at Arsenal, belying his reputation as a defensive anchor to prove a potent provider for Robin van Persie in particular.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has a truly staggering array of talent in central midfield after landing Fabregas earlier this week, but is thought to want Song as a direct swap for Jon Obi Mikel, who is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge despite shunning the chance to leave in each of the last two transfer windows.
Mourinho's transfer chiefs are ready to press ahead with a chase for Song and are not fazed that he is a linchpin of the Cameroon side who began their World Cup campaign with a Group A opener against Mexico in Natal, starting the match in a familiar roving central role.
Compared to the move for Fabregas though Chelsea fans are likely to view any move for Song as one that should be a low priority, while Arsenal fans will be dismayed to learn there is a distinct possibility that another former leader at the Emirates could return as an opponent next season.
In the clamour for top summer signings though its Chelsea who are definitely showing the Premier League how quick business can be done in the right conditions, with Fabregas set to be followed by Atletico Madrid duo Diego Costa and Filipe Luis.
Chelsea are likely to have stiff competition for Song's signature though, particularly given the fact Barca are prepared to take a small financial hit on their 2012 addition as Luis Enrique bids to rebuild at the Camp Nou.
Manchester United, Napoli and of course former club Arsenal have all previously been linked with a talented if at times frustrating star, who has immense physical attributes to match his work-rate, despite sometimes lacking the consistency and concentration of a truly top performer.
Chelsea are yet to lodge an official offer but are ready to monitor Song's progress at the World Cup very carefully, which means one of Africa's shining stars is definitely a player to follow very closely for Premier League fans during the early weeks of the tournament.
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