Chelsea have been handed renewed hope of securing the signature of Jose Luis Gaya after the highly-rated defender turned down the offer of a new contract with current club Valencia.
According to the Daily Mirror, the Spain U21 international has rejected the improved terms on the table at the Mestalla amid reported interest from the Blues and La Liga rivals Real Madrid.
Gaya has been in impressive form for Nuno Espírito Santo's Champions League hopefuls this season, which has attracted admiring glances from a host of top European suitors.
Jose Mourinho is believed to be a huge fan of the 19-year-old and is keen to bring the talented teenager to Stamford Bridge at the expense of Los Blancos.
With a £15 million buyout clause written into his existing deal, Chelsea know exactly what they need to pay to activate negotiations, and will be pleased to see Gaya stalling on a renewal that would've significantly bumped up his price-tag.
Mourinho's interest in the left-back does come as a bit of a surprise when you consider he splashed £16 million on Filipe Luis last summer, although the former Atletico Madrid man has failed to cement his place in the first-team in west London.
There has been speculation in the past few weeks that the Brazil international could in fact return to the Vicente Calderon, with the London Evening Standard suggesting the 29-year-old might be used as a pawn in a prospective deal that would see creative midfielder Koke come to England.
Diego Simeone is a huge admirer of Luis, and although he will be keen to retain the services of his Spain international, the opportunity to recapture one of his star performers last season would soften the obvious blow of Koke's anticipated departure.
That would give more weight to reports that Chelsea are in fact in the market for Gaya, who would be given time to settle in a new country before putting pressure on compatriot Cesar Azpilicueta who - despite being a right-back - continues to be deployed on the left side of defence by Mourinho.
Carlo Ancelotti has also been credited with an interest in the Valencia contract rebel as he steps up his search for a potential replacement for Fabio Coentrao, the Portuguese full-back who looks set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
Chelsea fans: What do you think about rumours linking Jose Mourinho with Jose Luis Gaya? Is £15 million too much to pay for the Spaniard? Share your thoughts below...