Chelsea eyes £15m-rated Inter midfielder Fredy Guarín

Chelsea hope to secure the Colombia midfielder Fredy Guarín from Internazionale for around £15m next month as José Mourinho seeks to add to his midfield options and maintain the team's title challenge over the second half of the campaign.

An initial offer of nearer £12m has already been rejected by the Italian club for the 27-year-old but Chelsea are understood to be preparing an improved bid to deflect interest from other elite English clubs in the player.

Guarín is a versatile midfielder who normally operates either centrally or from the right and his career has already taken in spells at Saint-Etienne and Porto before his move to San Siro in 2012. He has accumulated 47 caps en route.

While Chelsea are well stocked for creative attacking midfielders, Guarín's arrival would serve to take some of the strain from Ramires and Frank Lampard, who have been used extensively this season in the wake of the serious cruciate knee ligament injury suffered by Marco van Ginkel earlier in the campaign.

It would also allow the unsettled Kevin de Bruyne to leave in January, either on long-term loan or permanently. The Bundesliga clubs Wolfsburg and Schalke, as well as Atlético Madrid, are keen to take the Belgium international off Chelsea's hands.

Mourinho has been coy about his club's desire to add to their squad next month and does not expect heavy investment, given their desire to comply with new Uefa financial fair play regulations. However, he does hope to secure the young French defender Kurt Zouma from Saint-Etienne in addition to Guarín.