Chelsea have agreed terms on a season-long loan deal for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, 90min understands, with just a clause over any future permanent transfer left to iron out.
The Blues have moved ahead of Manchester United in the pursuit of the 26-year-old, who has been flattered by Chelsea's determination to bring him in before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.
Saul has been told he can leave Wanda Metropolitano - with the Rojiblancos also allowing him to choose his own destination between the two Premier League giants - and it seems he has pipped for Chelsea.
Sources close to the negotiations have told 90min the terms of a season-long loan at Stamford Bridge have been agreed, but the two parties remain locked in talks over whether there will be an option or obligation to buy the Spain international at the end of that spell.
Chelsea would prefer to have a choice in the matter, while Atleti want to include an obligation to buy for around £40m. However, at this stage it is more likely the west Londoners will get their way.
Personal terms are not thought to be an issue as Saul is impressed by the lengths the Blues have gone to in order to get a deal over the line ahead of the 31 August deadline.
United remain interested, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted it is unlikely the Red Devils will make further additions following the arrivals of winger Jadon Sancho and centre-back Raphael Varane.
Saul had been keen to join Barcelona earlier in the summer, but talks over a swap deal involving Antoine Griezmann broke down and allowed suitors from the Premier League to step in.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is keen to find a fourth midfielder to use in his regular rotation alongside N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho, and the opportunity to sign Saul on loan is one the board at Stamford Bridge have deemed too good to pass up.
It seems Chelsea are set for a busy few days ahead of the deadline. The purchase of Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde is nearing completion, while an exit is also on the cards, with Kurt Zouma set to join West Ham in the coming days.