Partizan Belgrade have denied speculation that a deal has already been agreed with Chelsea for the signing of Lazar Markovic.
The 18-year-old Serbian international is regarded as one of the finest talents in European football, becoming an international regular after helping his club side to the domestic title.
However, reports in the player’s homeland that the Blues have agreed a deal for the player appear premature, with Partizan director of sport Ljubisa Tumbakovic strenuously denying that the final details are currently being negotiated.
"I swear on my mother that I really do not know anything about this (Chelsea deal),” Tumbakovic told Sportski Zurnal.
“On Saturday I spoke with club president Dragan Djuric and he also told me that he knows nothing about Markovic's transfer to Chelsea. I don't know, he doesn't know. Maybe the journalists have better information than us in the club."
The Daily Mail reported yesterday that Chelsea were ‘finalising’ an £8 million deal for the forward, beating the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Inter Milan to the player’s signature in a transfer that would eventually cost around £14 million with add-ons.
That does not appear to be the case though, with the Crno-beli aiming to keep hold of a player who penned a five-year deal at the Partizan Stadium last summer.
Chelsea – currently in Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup – will hold discussions on transfer targets whilst in Asia, according to the Mail report, with Andre Schurrle and Damba Ba amongst the possible Stamford Bridge targets.