The Blue’s have decided on Gianelli Imbula over Soutampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin
According to reports, Jose Mourinho will offer £20m for the French U-21 international’s services.
Imbula, who has been likened to players such as Patrick Viera and Claude Makélélé, is seen as the perfect midfield partner for Nemanja Matic.
The player’s agent and father, Willy Ndangi spoke of how Chelsea offered “a million euros (£800,000)” before Imbula joined up with Marseille.
“About a month before Giannelli signed with Marseille, I had a meeting with a Chelsea official.
“But their people wanted a stranglehold on the player for five years.
“They wanted to put in place a sort of masked ownership.
“The youngster would have to have been willing to go left, right, to Turkey or who knows where.”
Les Olympiens struggle to retain Imbula
Imbula, who is eligible to play for France, Belgium or the DR Congo, has featured 33 times this season and has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal and Juventus.
Arsenal and Juventus are not the only teams competing with Chelsea for Imbula’s signature, Real Madrid are also admirers and are reported to be lining up a £20m summer swoop.
Mourinho will be aware he has a fight on his hands to land the highly-coveted midfielder but the Blues will most likely act now rather than stall on a potential move.