Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg have urged Chelsea to settle a fee of around £36m if they are to pursue the signature of Leandro Paredes from the club this month.
The Argentina international has emerged as the prime candidate to fill the void left by the departure of Cesc Fabregas, though the Blues remain far off from agreeing on a transfer fee.
According to The Mail, the Blues have already opened up negotiations with Zenit regarding the midfielder and their opening bid worth £26.8m was turned down by the Russian heavyweights.
It is added that Zenit have now presented the Blues with their
£36m valuation for the Argentine and they are unlikely to accept anything less for the former AS Roma man.
Chelsea are currently possessing six senior midfielders in Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Danny Drinkwater in their ranks.
However, the latter has already been deemed surplus to requirements while Maurizio Sarri has highlighted the need for another player who can provide the same passing attributes like Jorginho.
Based on that, Paredes perfectly fits the bill with his passing and through balls being among his main strengths and it remains to be seen whether the Blues can find a breakthrough in the forthcoming days.