Chelsea in advanced talks with 21-year-old prolific Russian striker

London club are tracking CSKA Moscow centre-forward Fedor Chalov and are preparing a winter offer if their transfer ban is lifted in December. Chelsea will find out in the middle of next month if their appeal to UEFA is successful and they will be able to add footballers again in winter.

If so, then they are likely to make a move for the 21-year-old striker. Fedor scored 15 league goals for CSKA last campaign and has netted five times in 16 games this season. Chalov has picked up two caps for Russia but has most recently been playing for the Under-21 side, scoring against Serbia last week.

Crystal Palace have been interested in Russia international in recent months and made bids for him over the summer, offering £23m on deadline day, but it was turned down.

London club would have to better that offer if they want to snap up the Russia star in winter, or the summer, but CSKA are reportedly preparing for his exit over the January.

Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal have all also been linked with the Russian striker, but their interest appears to have cooled, with Blues now leading the race for his signature. However, any move will rest on the decision of their UEFA appeal, which is in the hands of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

On Chelsea’s transfer ban, manager Frank Lampard said: ‘Well, I’ll be very interested of course, but it is a legal matter, and I don’t know enough of the legs even to delve.’