Chelsea are reportedly close to signing Malaga attacking midfielder Isco.
The 20-year-old has impressed with the La Liga outfit this season, scoring six goals and registering three assists in 21 appearances so far. The Mirror believes the Blues have already agreed a £15m fee with Malaga and the Spaniard will now sign for the European champions in this window. His contract with the La Rosaleda club runs until 2016, but financial problems and the need to raise funds to pay tax bills in January are believed to have forced Malaga's hand.
However, the report does not state whether the youngster will arrive at Stamford Bridge in January or be loaned back to Malaga for the rest of the season. The Spanish club are enjoying a superb season and have qualified for the first knock-out round of the Champions League on their debut in the competition.
The report also claims Roman Abramovich is ready to make a U-turn and open contract negotiations with Frank Lampard, who is set to become a free agent in the summer. The 34-year-old has found the net four times in his last five appearances and is only 10 goals away from breaking Bobby Tambling's club record tally of 202.
The Mirror also adds that Isco's arrival in west London is not contingent on the veteran midfielder's future. The young Spaniard was also a target for champions Manchester City.
Benitez Targets Cup Double
Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez has stated Chelsea's intention is to win both domestic cup competitions this season.
Senegal striker Demba Ba scored twice on his debut to help the Blues progress in the FA Cup by beating Southampton 5-1 at St Mary's on Saturday. Benitez has also guided the west London outfit to the semi-final of the League Cup, after taking charge as interim boss in November.
"I will be delighted if we carry on in both competitions to the end, it means we have done well," the Spaniard said.
Chelsea welcome Swansea City to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 9 January for the first leg of their League Cup semi-final. The winner of the tie will face either Bradford City or Aston Villa in the final.