Almost done: Chelsea identify Fabregas replacement

Cesc Fabregas is set to join Monaco this season, despite Maurizio Sarri urging the club to keep the Spanish midfielder.

Sarri is understood to be very fond of the midfielder and has requested that if Fabregas be shipped off to a foreign club, the club’s hierarchy should quickly make his replacement available.

The Italian boss is transfer shy and has asked to not be a part of the process.

Chelsea is said to have lined up highly rated Cagliari midfielder Nicollo Barella as their top target to replace the Spanish international.

Barella has been long linked with a move to England, especially to the Premier League. Chelsea have entered the fray and are said to have joined the long queue of clubs lined up to sign the player.

The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the best risers in the Serie A, since breaking his way into Roberto Mancini squad and going on to hold down his spot.

His record for Cagliari has seen his stock rise so high and so fast.

No player under the age of 23 has made more tackles than Barella in the Serie A this season. The 21-year-old has racked up 49 tackles this term. Cagliari value the youngster at 45 million pounds.

And Serie A clubs Inter Milan and Napoli are said to be interested in the young midfielder.