Chelsea had a £44million bid for Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella accepted by the Serie A club in January, but the player rejected the move, reports claim.
The Blues were desperately searching for a deep-lying midfielder as cover for Jorginho after the sale of Cesc Fabregas to Monaco.
Barella, the 21-year-old Italy international, was identified as the club’s number one target.
And according to Italian media outlet Tutto Mercato, the Blues launched a successful £44million bid only for the midfielder to turn them down.
It is understood he would rather stay in Italy due to ‘family reasons’ and will reassess his options in the summer, with a host of top clubs preparing to swoop.