Chelsea are said to have put Guingamp midfielder Giannelli Imbula at the top of their January shortlist, after receiving highly encouraging scout reports from their top scouts.
The 20 year-old is a regular for Guingamp in the French second-tier, and has been watched closely by London rivals Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers.
Chelsea are confident of pipping their rivals to his signature, and are expected to reopen negotiations with the club within the next week.
Imbula has a £6million release clause in his contract, and is apparently unavailable for a penny less. Chelsea are likely to negotiate on the price, with the offer of letting them keep him in their playing squad until the end of the season.