Reports in the British press are suggesting that Chelsea have made a significant move ahead of the January transfer window opening, and are closing in on the signature of Fredy Guarin.
The Inter Milan midfielder has been one of the Italian side’s standout players this season, and has caught the eye of Jose Mourinho.
A fee in the region of £15 million is believe to be what it will take to bring the Colombia international to Stamford Bridge.
But who is Guarin, and what will be bring to the Blues?
The box-to-box midfielder moved to Europe from his homeland back in 2006, playing for French club St Etienne, initially on loan and on a permanent basis a year later.
Star performances over the space of two years for the French side saw Guarin outgrow the club, with Porto quick to snap up the South American midfielder in 2008.
Initially Guarin found the going tough in Portugal, but grew in stature over the course of his four years at the Estadio do Dragao. He played an essential role in the 2010-11 campaign, helping Porto to their domestic league title and Europa League success.
Inter came knocking at the start of 2012, with Guarin initially joining the Giuseppe Meazza outfit on loan, and sealing a permanent switch to Italy last summer.
Guarin has started all 16 of Inter’s Serie A games this season, scoring three goals, while he also played his part in ensuring Colombia qualified for next summer’s World Cup.
The South American has been widely linked with a move to a number of Premier League clubs, with Manchester United also thought to be monitoring the midfielder’s situation.
However, the Blues are believed to have beaten their domestic rivals to the signing of Guarin, with some of the finer details to be finalised before a January transfer move can take place.
Guarin can play either in the centre or on the right of midfield, and initially looks like an excellent addition for Mourinho’s men.
The one area of the pitch that the west London club do not have real strength in depth is in the centre of midfield, with the likes of Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel failing to impress this term.
This has left an over-reliance on ageing Frank Lampard and Ramires, and as such an extra option to play in the heart of the side can make Chelsea more robust.
Guarin has the work-rate, energy and box-to-box play to make him a real success at Stamford Bridge, and will add a touch of dynamism that has been lacking in Mourinho’s side at times this season.
With the Blues within touching distance of the Premier League summit, the addition of a top-quality central midfielder can be the catalyst to see them challenge for the title, with Guarin looking like an ideal signing for Mourinho’s men.