Chelsea Transfer News: Blues Close In On Spanish International, Benat Etxebarria, As Frank Lampard's Replacement

Benat Etxebarria is the current Spanish International in question who is allegedly lined up to replace the departing Frank Lampard, who will leave Chelsea in the summer when his current contract runs up, much to the dismay of the Chelsea faithful.

According to the Spanish media source, AS, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been advised to sign the 25-year-old central midfield player, who is simply known as 'Benat'. He is the subject of a rejected bid of £8 million and The Blues have been told by his club Real Betis, that they will need to produce around £16 million if they are to get their man.

The publication claims that Abramovich is ready to pay more to secure the signing. The Daily Star in the UK are also reporting the same story, claiming that Chelsea see Benat as a good replacement for Lampard.

Benat is a fellow country man of Chelsea's main man this season Juan Mata, and has also been capped 4 times for their International side. Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez also has a good interest in his fellow patriot, having watched him in the Spanish Serie A before he even joined The Blues, he is a keen admirer.

Abramovich has given Benitez the green light to sign who he needs to produce a successful Chelsea side and salvage what they can from a somewhat disapointing season. Having been knocked out of the Champions League and seeing themseleves slip down the pecking order in the Premier League, Abramovich wants to seriously challenge for the remaining competitions and make a good show in the league. He is more than prepared to provide the personnel, having already added Newcastle hit man Demba Ba.

Benat has the typical spanish attributes and is a natural football player, he is technically gifted and has an eye for a long range shot. Abramovich will now look to negotiate the deal to suit both parties.