Manager Jose Mourinho has given the clearest indication yet that Andriy Shevchenko will sign for Chelsea.
Mourinho wants Shevchenko to play in attack with Didier Drogba
Lyon, who wanted Didier Drogba, have revealed that Mourinho wants to keep the Ivory Coast striker with a view to teaming him up with Shevchenko.
Bernard Lacombe, an adviser to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, spoke to Drogba on Tuesday.
And Lacombe says Drogba told him "that Mourinho wanted to build the team around him and Andriy Shevchenko".
Lacombe added: "Didier will not be coming to Lyon."
Shevchenko, 29, has been given permission by AC Milan to talk to Chelsea and is expected to travel to London to discuss terms before he plays for Ukraine at the World Cup.
A statement on Chelsea's website said: "We can confirm he has been given permission to travel to London."
Chelsea will smash the British transfer record if they sign the AC Milan forward for a proposed £34m move.
And they will also have to alter the system of using just one striker which has served Mourinho so well in his two seasons in English football, which have seen him win two Premiership titles.
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The Chelsea boss has alternated Drogba and Hernan Crespo, but has tended not to play both together. However, Lyon's admission suggests this will change from next term.
Shevchenko is expected to undergo a medical later on Wednesday but Chelsea have stressed: "No deal has been done yet."
The Ukraine striker had earlier told Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani: "I'm leaving for family reasons."
Shevchenko has an American wife and it is understood that they want their son Jordan to learn English.
The striker added: "It wasn't a problem of relations and there is no economic problem."
Galliani said: "This is certainly the most painful divorce since I have been at Milan. We will begin negotiations with Chelsea and it will not be easy."
Galliani, who is in charge of the day-to-day operations at Milan, added: "It's a victory of the English language over the Italian language.
"I've tried to convince him to stay - even one minute prior to the press conference."
Milan offered Shevchenko a contract extension until 2011.
"My wish is that the club can evaluate my transfer," added the Ukraine international.
"Of course I am saddened because I have seen the looks on the faces of the fans and because of the many messages I have received."
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Shevchenko's wife, Kristen Pazik, is understood to be friends with the partner of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
"My wife has nothing to do with this," said the striker. "We decided together for the best interests of our family.
"I don't speak English, my wife does not speak Ukrainian - the only language we have in common at the moment is Italian.
"The only way to be able to teach our children our love that we have for them is the English language."
Shevchenko joined Milan from Dynamo Kiev in 1999 and is the second highest scorer in the club's behind Gunnar Nordahl with 173 goals.
He scored 19 goals in 28 Serie A matches this season and also netted nine goals in the Champions League.
Shevchenko will captain Ukraine at the World Cup finals in Germany this summer.