Chelsea might miss out on Alessio Romagnoli because of AC Milan’s Chinese owners.
That’s according to Sky Sports Italia, who say the Serie A giants’ new investors are fearful of turning the club’s fans against them by letting the centre-back leave.
Blues boss Antonio Conte switched his focus to the 21-year-old having grown frustrated in his efforts to prize Kalidou Koulibaly away from Napoli.
And reports on Tuesday suggested he was willing to splash out £34m to secure his services.
However, La Gazzetta dello Sport say the 47-year-old Italian has seen his latest offer knocked back by the seven-time Champions League winners.
The Chinese consortium which now controls the San Siro side only bought out Silvio Berlusconi two weeks ago.
And their reluctance to irk Milan supporters can be explained by the £628m they have agreed to pay to take over from the former Italian Prime Minister.
The news may force Conte to look elsewhere, though he is believed to have left his options open in case his pursuit of Koulibaly was fruitless.
Torino’s Nikola Maksimovic is said to be on the former Italy national team manager’s radar as well.
The Blues continue their top flight title assault at home to Premier League new boys Burnley this Sunday, having won their previous two games 2-1 thanks to a pair of late Diego Costa strikes.
The Blues have already added two marquee signings in N’Golo Kante from Leicester City and exciting Belgian attacker Michy Batshuayi, but the Italian manager is determined to bolster his squad even further as he seeks Premier League title glory in his first season in at Stamford Bridge.