Chelsea close in on Serbian starlet

Partizan Belgrade attacker Lazar MarkovicChelsea are close to completing a deal for 18-year-old Serbian forward Lazar Markovic, according to reports from the Daily Mail.

The Partizan Belgrade star has been in fine form this season, notching an impressive six goals in 12 appearances, which has lead to wide spread praise from the media in his home nation.

Liverpool, Arsenal and Inter Milan are all believed to be negotiating with his club, by Markovic is thought to favour a switch to London, which could push through an £8m deal next month.

However, a number of performance related clauses may be inserted into the deal, meaning a figure of £14m could eventually be reached.

Despite his youthful age, the attacker has made six appearances at senior international level, getting on the score sheet against South American giants Chile.

Chelsea are believed to be keen on strengthening their squad during January and are set to discuss a number of deals whilst in Japan for the Club World Cup.

Atletico Madrid star Radamel Falcao, Bayer Leverkusen speedster Andre Schurrle, Argentine hit-man Gonzalo Higuain and Demba Ba are thought to be high on Rafael Benitez’s list of targets.

As well as arrivals, there may be a number of departures in the New Year, with left-back Ashley Cole and back-up striker Daniel Sturridge rumoured to be nearing the exit door.