Chelsea have been told that even an increased bid of £35 million for Tottenham's Luka Modric would be rejected as Spurs manager Harry Redknapp believes the Croat's true value is much higher.
Chelsea and Modric want each other, but the Blues two bids to land him - of £22m and £27m - so far have been laughed off by their neighbours. Modric has even handed in a transfer request after falling out with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and the Croat is determined continue playing in the Champions League.
The Stamford Bridge outfit are ready to make a third and final bid of around £35m - a figure which would be, reportedly, enough to tempt Spurs into the sale. However, Redknapp has come out and claimed Tottenham would want much more.
If we were looking to sell him, it (£35m) wouldn't meet my valuation, Redknapp said. I think he is worth an awful lot more money than that. Really, we're not looking to sell Luka. We need to keep our best players, so he is a player that we want to keep if possible.
It is in the hands of the chairman of the football club. It's not my decision at the end of the day. I obviously want to keep him as the coach but the chairman says he is not for sale, so we'll have to wait and see. We're quite determined, if we can, to hang on to him but it is a difficult situation. It's a difficult one for Luka and it's a difficult one for Tottenham.
However, Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas believes the squad are in need of a creative force at the heart of the midfield and could thereby offer a cash-plus-player deal to Tottenham.
Elsewhere, the Blues have agreed a fee with Barcelona for midfielder Oriol Romeu. The 19-year-old is one of two youngsters reportedly wanted Villas-Boas, the other being Thiago Alacantara. The West London side confirmed the news in a statement in their official website.
A statement said, Chelsea Football Club has agreed terms with Barcelona for the transfer of Oriol Romeu. The news was announced by Andre Villas-Boas in Bangkok.
The fee is believed to be around the region of £5 million for the Spaniard, who is currently away for the Under-20 World Cup.
Interestingly, footie-online.co.uk has reported that Villas-Boas will look to sign Hulk from his former side Porto. The 25-year-old was first touted to join Chelsea immediately after Villas-Boas took charge and reports have emerged again of a possible attempt to sign him. What is a major stumbling block is the £100 million buy-out clause in the striker's contract with Porto, which lasts till 2016. Furthermore, Chelsea already are spoilt for choice up front.
Didier Drogba is set to sign a one-year contract extension with Chelsea, which will keep him at the club till 2013. The Ivory Coast international, who will be 35 when the deal runs out, revealed the news.
We've started talking and it's very interesting. Everybody knows what I feel about Chelsea and what I want, he said. I will definitely be here next season. I said a few years ago that I will be here until the end of my contract, and I am here.
Now I need to keep playing well here and giving my best, like I always try to do. This will be my eighth season at this club and it means a lot for any striker to stay that long at Chelsea.''
Drogba went on to admit that he wouldn't be assured of a starting berth next season, with Fernando Torres, Nicholas Anelka, Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge all competing for places up front.
Yes, I think we are (contending for one place). That's the manager's choice, but it's been like this for me for all my years at this club. He said.
It was the same when Eidur Gudjohnsen was here, when (Andriy) Shevchenko was here, and all of the other times. I'm 33, I'm the oldest player and, even if that feels strange, I'm not worried. If I deserve to play then I will play. If I'm not good then I won't. It's good for the team to have some competition.