CHELSEA HAVE FOUND A REPLACEMENT FOR CESC FABREGAS

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Cesc Fabregas is set to join French club Monaco after a four-and-a-half year spell at Stamford Bridge winning two Premier League titles, a League Cup and FA Cup.

According to reports, Fabregas travelled to Monaco on Sunday and has agreed personal terms with Monaco over a two-and-a-half year contract, which includes a signing bonus worth in excess of £9 million. However, Chelsea are yet to agree a transfer fee with Monaco for the 31-year-old with the Blues demanding a fee of £10 million and Monaco unwilling to match that figure with just five months left to run on Fabregas’ Chelsea contract.

Fabregas expects Chelsea to reach an agreement with Monaco with the 31-year-old keen on reuniting with former Arsenal teammate Thierry Henry, who is now the head coach of Monaco.

Despite failing to reach an agreement with Monaco, Chelsea are already planning for life after Cesc Fabregas.

According to Standard Sport, Chelsea are lining up a move for Italy international Nicolo Barella as replacement for Cesc Fabregas.

The report claims Cagliari demanding £45 million for Barella and would prefer to sell the midfielder in the summer. Chelsea are reportedly willing to meet Cagliari’s asking price for the midfielder.

Chelsea face competition for Barella from Sarri’s former club Napoli and Inter Milan. The 21-year-old has been compared to former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard in Italy.

Inter Milan lost out on signing Luka Modric in the summer and are desperate to bolster their midfield options by making a move for Barella.

However, Chelsea lead the race for the midfielder with Inter Milan unwilling to meet Cagliari’s asking price of £45 million, a fee which Chelsea are willing to meet.

Barella made his senior debut for Italy back in October against Ukraine and has four caps for Italy, having played at every youth level for the national side.

Barella is under contract at Cagliari until 2022 and has missed just one game this season due to suspension.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri expects Chelsea to sign a replacement for Fabregas after making it clear only Jorginho and Fabregas can play as the team’s deepest central midfielder.

“In this position we have only two players, Jorginho and Fabregas, so for me it would be really a problem without Cesc,” Sarri said.

“I want him to stay, [but] I don’t know the final decision of Cesc and the club of course.”

Chelsea are also reportedly interested in Zenit St. Petersburg star Leandro Paredes, who has scored three goals in 15 starts so far this season.

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OTONY
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