Not Higuain, Chelsea in advance talks to complete first January signing, £45m deal on card

Chelsea have halted in their pursuit for Nicollo Barella and will instead shift their focus to the cheaper Leandro Peredes.

The Zenit St Petersburg’s midfielder has appeared on the radar of Chelsea who are still scouring for a replacement for the leaving Cesc Fabregas.

Fabregas is about to join the threatened French side Monaco this month. The boss Thierry Henry is keen on strengthening his squad as he attempts to fight his way up, away from the relegation zone.

The Spain international is said to join the French side on a permanent basis and Blues boss Maurizio Sarri has expressed concerns over his move.

Though Sarri has stamped his approval on his switch to France, he has warned out that his replacement be made over the winter window, pointing out the urgent need for Fabregas replacement.

Barella tops the list of options for Chelsea, but the player’s fee has seen Chelsea withdraw their interest and lodging a bid for Peredes is on the wings.

According to Sportitalia Chelsea won’t fork out the 45 million euros on Barella due to their thin budget this January. Chelsea are desperately in need of a striker and signing over Barella could cut the funding for one.

Peredes will cost Blues around 31 million pounds, who have entered an advanced stage in their negotiations for Peredes.