Chelsea are close to agreeing a £15m fee with Inter Milan for midfielder Fredy Guarin, according to reports from the London Evening Standard.

The Colombian international has been heavily linked with Manchester United of late, but Jose Mourinho – a long-term fan of the South American – is ready to pounce for his signature.

‘The Special One’ is thought to have made midfield reinforcements a priority ahead of the January window, with Frank Lampard’s advancing years and below-per performances from other stars a source of concern.

Guarin is seen as an ideal addition, with the 27-year-old having been lauded for his commanding and robust playing style.

Talks between the Londoners and Inter are believed to have started last week, with officials from Chelsea sitting down with their counterparts from Milan.

An initial £12m offer was swiftly rebuffed, but Mourinho’s men are close to agreeing a £15m deal.

Inter are far from keen to lose one of their star men, but the player himself is thought to be open to a switch to the Premier League.

Guarin is expected to represent his nation at next summer’s World Cup, where he could face England if both teams advance from their groups.

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