Andriy Shevchenko is expected to arrive at Stamford Bridge later on Wednesday as Chelsea hope to complete the £34m (€50m) signing of the AC Milan striker.
The Italian club last night granted the 29-year-old Ukraine international permission to travel to London for further discussions after Shevchenko had declared his intention to leave the Serie A giants.
Although the Barclays Premiership champions maintain “no deal has yet been finalised”, it is hoped agreement can be reached to allow the Blues’ long-term target to complete his move by the end of the day.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has already added German captain Michael Ballack to his squad on a free transfer from Bayern Munich.
Yesterday Chelsea completed the signing of promising young forward Salomon Kalou, 20, on a three-year deal from Dutch club Feyenoord for an undisclosed fee.
The arrival of the Ivory Coast-born Kalou is now likely to pave the way for the departure of England Under-21 striker Carlton Cole.
Both Tottenham and Premiership new-boys Reading are understood to be keen on the 6ft 3ins frontman.
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon confirmed: “Discussions have gone on with Carlton. He does want to play football and you have to appreciate that.
“We are supportive of that and are currently in discussions with several clubs who have shown an interest.”
Kenyon told Chelsea TV: “I think we will find the right solution for Carlton and for Chelsea in the next few weeks.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea appear to be lining up Portuguese goalkeeper Hilario as back-up to Petr Cech.
The 30-year-old’s contract with Nacional de Madeira expires this summer and he has been linked with a two-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
“He has the ideal profile in view of our requirements,” Mourinho is quoted to have said in an interview to TVI on Portuguese television.
“I already worked with him and I know he is intelligent. It’s necessary to be intelligent in order be a substitute to the best goalkeeper in the world. He is not only bright but he also has common sense.”