Paris Saint-Germain has beat Chelsea to the signing of Leandro Paredes from Zenit Saint Petersburg.
The Argentina midfielder has been in Paris finalising the deal since the weekend with the fee agreed around £35m.
Chelsea had expressed interest in Paredes as a replacement for Cesc Fabregas, who left for Monaco earlier this month.
24-year-old Paredes has been playing for the Russian club since the summer of 2017, having previously represented Boca Juniors, Chievo, Roma and Empoli.
He has been capped nine times by Argentina since his debut in 2017.
Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella was also on Chelsea’s shortlist with Maurizio Sarri making it clear he needed another defensive midfielder in his squad.
By Oluwatoyin Adeleye