The Blues boss has identified the Argentinian, who has lit up Serie A with some outstanding displays, as his main target as Chelsea look to build for next season, according to the Mirror. And the Italian is not wavered by the huge price tag put on him by his club, who recently tied him down to a long-term contract in the hope of commanding big money for the midfielder.
And, Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has already claimed that he has turned down a £23m offer for the playmaker from Real Madrid, while conceding: "Until the end of season he will play for Palermo. Despite my interest for the club and player, I am already looking for his replacement.
"I feel it will be difficult for an Italian club to buy him. His price is already high at €70m - he will move abroad."
Chelsea have already flexed their muscle in the transfer market recently, spending over £70m on Fernando Torres and David Luiz, who have enjoyed contrasting starts to their time at Stamford Bridge.