Alexandre Pato has made clear to Chelsea his desire to move to Stamford Bridge this month and his arrival could yet see Radamel Falcao cut short a disappointing season-long loan and return to AS Monaco.
The champions have held discussions with Pato's representatives exploring the possibility of bringing the former Milan forward, capped 27 times by Brazil, to England and reports in Brazil suggest personal terms have been verbally agreed in principle by the player.
The 26-year-old is contracted to Corinthians, having spent a recent productive two-year spell on loan at São Paulo, and is valued at around £10m, with talks now to step up between the clubs.
Chelsea may still be keener to secure Pato initially on loan with a view to a permanent three-year deal if the striker makes a positive impact.
But, with the Premier League club having made little progress to date in their pursuit of the likes of Alex Teixeira at Shakhtar Donetsk or even Leicester City's Jamie Vardy, they consider the Brazilian an option worth pursuing given the pedigree he displayed during his five-year stint with the Rossoneri.
Pato is intent upon moving to England. He rejected a lucrative offer from the Chinese second division side Tianjin Quanjian earlier this month and his agents instead made known the player's availability to a number of Premier League clubs, with the noises from Chelsea the most encouraging.
The forward is understood to have already spoken with his compatriot Willian and his former Milan team-mate Marco Amelia - who is third-choice goalkeeper at the club - and is hopeful a deal will now be struck with Corinthians.
The striker would require a work permit and has not played competitive football since November, so will lack match fitness to step straight into the first team, but he would otherwise appear to be a relatively simple deal for Chelsea to pursue in a difficult transfer window.
Meanwhile, Werder Bremen have signed Papy Djilobodji on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season.
The 27-year-old joined the Blues from French club Nantes in the summer but managed only one minute of action for the Premier League champions.
Djilobodji's signing was confirmed by Bremen - who finished the first half of the Bundesliga campaign in 16th position out of 18 - yesterday afternoon.