Chelsea are believed to be close to signing Metalist Kharkiv forward Taison in this transfer window. Sky Sports reports the West London club have agreed a transfer fee with the Ukrainian Premier League outfit. However, there is a second club, an as-yet-unidentified Premier League side, who retain an interest in Taison.
The Brazilian put in a strong performance for his club during the UEFA Europa League's group stages, scoring once and registering three assists to help the Ukrainians to the knock-out rounds. Kharkiv have been drawn to play Newcastle United in the Round of 32.
However, it would appear Chelsea remain favourites to sign the 24-year-old; the Sky Sports report adds the club have already agreed personal terms with the player. Taison also commented he had spoken to Chelsea owner Roman Abromavich regarding his January transfer to Stamford Bridge.
Finally, the presence of a former team mate - midfielder Oscar - is likely to persuade Taison to join the European champions. Taison and Oscar played together when they were at Brazilian club Internacional.
"I went to England (some weeks ago) just to take a look. I talked to the president. I see Oscar, who I played alongside at Internacional, and I want to play with him again," Taison said.
In addition, the attacking midfielder's agent, Diego Dornelles, has refused to rule out a mid-season move away from Ukraine, insisting there were "many things coming".
Should Taison, in fact, move to Chelsea, he will join a growing Brazilian contingent at Stamford Bridge; apart from Oscar, defender-turned-midfielder David Luiz, midfielder Ramires and forward Lucas Piazon are presently with the club.
Meanwhile, Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard is definitely leaving the club. The 34-year-old England international's agent, Steve Kutner, has confirmed the club icon's departure. Lampard is presently in the final year of his contract and there has been interest in his services from a number of clubs, including Manchester United and Arsenal.
Ba Hails Dream Debut
Meanwhile, Demba Ba has expressed delight with his Chelsea debut. The Blues signed the 27-year-old Senegalese international from Newcastle United earlier this week and he made his first start for the European champions in the midweek FA Cup third round clash against Southampton.
Ba scored twice to give the visitors at St Mary's an emphatic 5-1 win.
"I don't think I have made a debut like that before. That's a great one and I'm pleased, I'm going to enjoy it a little bit. When you see the fans they show you they're happy for you and the team-mates when they come and congratulate you it's a good feeling," Ba explained.