Speculation regarding a move to Chelsea for Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai has been building over recent weeks, and Hungary boss Marco Rossi claims that a January deal has been agreed.
The 23-year-old only moved to Turkey in the winter transfer window of 2021, but another switch could be on the cards 12 months on.
However, Fenerbahce have subsequently released a statement denying Szalai is on the brink of a transfer away from the club.
What has been said?
Rossi, who coaches the highly-rated centre-half at international level, is not surprised to see the Blues swooping in as Szalai would not look out of place in any of Europe’s top divisions.
When asked to picked out players in the Hungarian ranks that could make an impact in Serie A, Italian coach Rossi told Calciomercato: “It’s hard to name just one player, but right now I see very well Attila Szalai, who plays for Fenerbahce, but I think he is joining Chelsea.
“Clearly, he has been followed by important clubs in Spain, but apparently his move to Chelsea is a done deal. He would be a great player also for Italian football.”
Fener deny Szalai transfer
In response to those comments Fenerbahce issued a firm denial.
"The allegations regarding the transfer of our player Attila Szalai, which have been made public in the last few days, based on foreign press and social media, do not reflect the truth," read a statement.
Who else has been linked with Szalai?Getty
Rossi is right to suggest that Szalai has been attracting admiring glances from leading sides in La Liga.
Sevilla and Atletico Madrid have been credited with interest, while even Barcelona were said to be monitoring a player of considerable promise at one stage.
Chelsea would appear to have won the race for a much sought-after signature, with it reported that the Blues will be parting with around £20 million ($26m) in order to get a deal over the line.
Why are Chelsea keen on Szalai?
Thomas Tuchel has been scouring the market for another centre-half at Stamford Bridge for a while.
Sevilla star Jules Kounde was identified as a top target over the summer, but the France international proved to be out of reach.
Efforts are now being stepped up to tick that particular box, with the current Champions League holders aware of the need to get bodies on board.
With Antonio Rudiger running his contract down towards free agency in 2022, and with Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta also approaching the final six months of their respective deals, the Premier League heavyweights are wary of leaving themselves short in an important position.