Chelsea have had a £27 million bid for David Villa rejected, according to The Mirror.
The Spanish World Cup winner, who scored Barcelona's third goal in the Champions League final against Manchester United moved from Valencia to the Nou Camp for £35 million only last summer.
But with Narca expected to be restricted to just £40 million in summer spending, Pep Guardiola may have to sell before be can properly strengthen his La Liga champions.
But once Chelsea's bid was rebuffed they learned of Villa £178 million release clause and that further negotiation would be needless.
Chelsea are looking to shake up their attacking options with 32-year-old Nicolas Anelka and 33-year-old Didier Drogba rumoured to be leaving the club.
The Blues are in contention to sign Alexis Sanchez, whose transfer to Barcelona looks set to go through.
However, Chelsea may want to keep an eye on Barca's deal for Cesc Fabregas, which may eclipse their summer budget, meaning the west-Londoners would be free to bid for Sanchez.