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Chelsea open negotiations to sign Fabregas

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Matt Law and Luke Edwards

Cesc Fabregas is hoping to have his future decided before the World Cup begins.

Cesc Fabregas is hoping to have his future decided before the World Cup begins. Photo: Getty Images

Chelsea have opened negotiations over signing Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

Barcelona are willing to let him leave for £30 million ($54 million) and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed his interest in the former Arsenal captain.

Fabregas is with the Spain World Cup squad in Washington, where they face El Salvador on Saturday before travelling to Brazil on Sunday.

The 27-year-old would ideally like to have his future sorted out before Spain kick-off their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on June 13.

Fernando Torres believes his Spain teammate Fabregas is what Chelsea need and backed him to become a "leader" at Stamford Bridge.

"Would Cesc be a great signing? Great players are always great signings," said Torres. "He's a type of player Chelsea don't have now.

"Cesc knows the Premier League, he can add football, possession, goals if he feels important. He can be a leader, like he was at Arsenal."

Arsenal have indicated that they are not planning to take up their option to re-sign the 27-year-old.

Mourinho's initial top midfield target to replace Frank Lampard, who confirmed he is leaving Chelsea this week, was Atletico Madrid star Koke. But Barcelona are also interested in signing Koke.

Mourinho said: "We have some interest. I have interest in analysing the situation. It looks like he's really interested in leaving Barcelona, and is very, very interested in coming back to England. This I think is clear.

"After that it's not something for us, or another team, for now. It's not for now, or tomorrow, or for before the World Cup. But we are interested in monitoring the situation."

Chelsea are due to announce the £32 million signing of another Spain team-mate of Fabregas, striker Diego Costa, who has now completed his Blues medical.

John Terry has visited Chelsea's Cobham training ground this week to do extra work during his summer off. The Blues captain signed a one-year contract extension and wants to return for next season in top condition. Goalkeeper Petr Cech has also been visiting Cobham on his own as part of the rehabilitation from his dislocated shoulder.

Porto's highly-rated centre-back, Eliaquim Mangala, is set to reject interest from Manchester City in favour of a move to Chelsea, now the clear favourites to sign the 23-year-old France international.

Mourinho still has strong links with Porto, the club he used to manage, and is hopeful he will be able to land Mangela for less than the £35 million that has been quoted in the past.

City will turn their attention to Roma's Mehdi Benatia if they miss out on Mangala. Roma are trying to hold on to the Moroccan international, and have offered the man they value at £50 million a new contract.

The Telegraph, London

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