DiarioSport, which is close to Barca, says today that Blues owner Roman Abramovich has decided to make Ronaldinho his No1 target for the New Year, convinced the deal will prove a huge winner for Chelsea on-and-off the pitch.
Abramovich and his advisors are confident Ronaldinho still has a good five years left at the very top and his arrival will send merchandise sales into overdrive. The Brazilian's wage demands will also not be the bank-busting claims of previous reports, with the attacking midfielder prepared to accept a similar salary to what Michael Ballack is currently enjoying.
Indeed, one option Chelsea are preparing is to include the Germany international in their bid. Ballack came close to joining Barca while with Bayern Munich and twice met with former vice-president Sandro Rosell at his home in Germany before the deal fell through.
Barca sports chief Txiki Begiristain rates Ballack highly, despite his injury problems, and the prospect of landing the midfielder as part of Chelsea's offer may prove too good to refuse.