Bild has accused Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia of underhand tactics in her efforts to bring Kai Havertz to Stamford Bridge.
The versatile attacking midfielder has also agreed personal terms on a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
However, the transfer remains some way from going through with Chelsea currently unable to agree on a fee with Leverkusen.
Chelsea are not willing to pay more than £70million. The Bundesliga side, however, value their player at nearer £90m.
Rudi Voller, who is Bayer’s sporting director, is in charge of negotiations from the Bundesliga’s side point of view.
He is adamant there will be no discount for the player and is insistent Havertz won’t leave for less than their asking price.
“There will be no corona bonus,” he said. “No matter who the player is, this is a special transfer window.”
Voller also confirmed that Havertz will not be allowed to leave until after his side’s Europa League campaign comes to an end.
He added: It is set in stone. There is no new stance.”
Reports earlier on Thursday, however, suggested an agreement was close. That stated Chelsea would make an initial £70m payment and make up a further £20m in bonuses.
However, Bild is adamant that is not the case.
And with Granovskaia still has to agree to a fee the paper says she has asked ‘several German player consultants’ for ways she can strike a cheaper deal.
Furthermore, Bild claims she has been ‘digging around to find weaknesses in her Leverkusen counterparts’ negotiations.’
In the words of the paper, as relayed by the Daily Express, the Chelsea chief has been accused of ‘espionage’.
Granovskaia, a Russian-Canadian, has been in charge of Chelsea transfer negotiations since 2013.
Rated as one of Roman Abroamovich’s most trusted aides, she persuaded Real Madrid to pay £100m for Eden Hazard last summer. That’s despite the Belgian having just a year left on his contract.
Willian FA Cup final doubts
Meanwhile, it’s been reported that Willian will not be considered for Saturday’s FA Cup final.
The 31-year-old has appeared in 47 matches across all competitions, and notched four goals and two assists in the league since the restart.
However, with his impending free agent status, his spell at Stamford Bridge could soon be coming to an end.
And it is this conflict of interest that has reportedly caused Frank Lampard to pause for thought.