The Independent says the deal will cost Chelsea around £20 million and is being brokered by German Tkachenko.

Crucially Tkachenko is thought to have been instrumental in the discontent that grew in the Roman Abramovich circles over the former Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho.

He was heavily involved when Abramovich first acquired Chelsea but was "off the scene" for a while before re-emerging last year at Stamford Bridge, according to sources. The dislike he felt for Mourinho was said to be mutual.

The jostling for position at Chelsea has continued unabated over the past year with Tkachenko hosting the manager, Avram Grant, at Sunday's game between Lokomotiv Moscow and Tomsk. Grant flew to Moscow immediately after Saturday's 6-0 victory over Manchester City to run the rule over Bilyaletdinov and Ivanovic who both play for Lokomotiv.