Atalanta have rejected a €25 million offer from Chelsea for Franck Kessié, the Guardian reports.
Chelsea reportedly submitted a bid of about £21 million for the Ivorian, but Atalanta are holding out for more.
The 20-year-old has been in outstanding form as Atalanta have risen up to sixth place in Serie A after 18 games, and has scored six goals in 16 appearances.
He has been touted to be the next Yaya Toure, and his agent George Atangana has confirmed that Chelsea’s initial bid was rejected by Atalanta, who are thought to value their prized asset at around €40 million (about £34 million).
“We have a lot of interest from the Premier League – Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal,” he told Guardian sport. “I cannot say at this stage how much he will cost but we are talking about one of the best young players in the world. But for us the most important thing is that the technical project is the right one for him. Franck is very young so we have to be very careful about his development.
“Chelsea are very interested and it is a great club but we must take our time to consider all the options,” Atangana, who will meet Stamford Bridge officials in London next week, added. “Now we are in January so he has to play at the African Nations Cup for Ivory Coast so I am not going to rush anything.”