Chelsea have had a bid of £33 million rejected by Palermo for Javier Pastore.
The playmaker, one of the most coveted players in Europe, has also caught the attention of Manchester United and Manchester City.
But Chelsea have jumped the gun and bid for the attacker, but Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini says their bid was turned down.
"Chelsea was a club that we had a major offer from," he said.
"But it did not reach the minimum figure that we set for a player of his quality.
"If someone wants to buy Pastore, the price is 50m (£44m).
"There are five or six clubs also interested, including Man City and big clubs from Spain and Italy but so far there has been nothing from them."
Having already spent £50 million on Fernando Torres in January, Chelsea are looking to further bolster their attack with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka expected to depart.