Juan Mata looks set to leave Chelsea in the coming days, but the Blues look set to reinforce their squad with the addition of Mohamed Salah.
Mata, who before this season was hugely inspirational for the London club, has been frozen out this term by Jose Mourinho, who instead prefers Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian to provide the guile from his midfield. Even so, it is still a surprise that the Spaniard will be sold to Manchester United, the reigning champions, who are on the verge of luring the former Valencia star to Old Trafford for £37million.
Mourinho has wasted little time with his plans to reinvest some of this fee, with a £12million deal, which could rise to £16million, being agreed for Salah. The Egypt international has been in splendid form for FC Basle this season, not least against Chelsea in both meetings between the clubs in the UEFA Champions League, to add to the goal he scored against them in the UEFA Europa League last term.
Liverpool had shown a strong interest in signing the 21-year-old this month, but it looks as though they have been beaten to the punch by their Premier League rivals. Salah, who has 17 goals in 27 caps for his country, is now said to be heading to the English capital to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical, before he will be paraded in front of his fans in the FA Cup clash against Stoke City on Sunday.
This is the latest piece of business in what has been a busy month for the Blues. As well as reaching a deal for Salah, they have paid £21million to take Nemanja Matic back from Benfica. And as well as Mata heading through the exit door, Kevin de Bruyne has ended his short spell at the club by joining German side Wolfsburg in a deal worth £18million. Michael Essien, meanwhile, has also been heavily linked with an exit, with AC Milan said to be interested in the Ghanaian.