Valencia have rejected an improved bid of around £40million from Chelsea for midfielder Andre Gomes, while Juventus have reportedly emerged as frontrunners to sign Nemanja Matic.
The Portuguese international is expected to leave the Mestalla this summer after the club failed to qualify for European competition, and Juventus have been leading the chase for the 22-year-old.
But it is the Blues who have made the biggest play for his signature, bidding over €50million as Antonio Conte searches for central midfielders who can fit his energetic style of play.
Gomes had an up-and-down campaign with Valencia but has impressed in France during Euro 2016 and is expected to become one of the Continent’s best midfielders.
Former coaches of the Portugal star have compared him to Michael Ballack for his box-to-box capabilities, but he has also shown a capacity to play in wide positions.
It is unclear whether Chelsea will go any higher in their pursuit of Gomes, but Valencia are holding out for a bumper fee from Juventus in the expectation that will sell Paul Pogba to Manchester United for a world-record fee.
Juventus to meet Matic valuation
Any move for Gomes, however, could be further complicated by reports emerging from Italy that Juve are also planning a move for Blues midfielder Matic.
Matic suffered an alarming drop in form for Chelsea last season and it is thought the player could be sold by Conte as he bids to re-shape his midfield at Stamford Bridge. The player was linked with a move to Manchester United earlier this summer, and while that looks unlikely now, it seems a move to Juventus could happen.
Reports claim Juve plan to meet Chelsea’s €20million valuation of the Serbian and are looking at the midfielder to bolster their midfield ranks, especially with injuries to Claudio Marchisio and Sami Khedira.