Chelsea’s £85 million bid for striker Romelu Lukaku has been rejected by Inter Milan.
Lukaku, 28, is at the forefront of Chelsea’s search for a new striker after Borussia Dortmund ruled out selling striker Erling Braut Haaland this summer despite Chelsea’s interest.
Inter’s owners are determined to keep hold of the Belgian despite the club’s financial difficulties.
Inter won their first Serie A title since 2010 last season, with Lukaku, a former Chelsea player, playing a key role.
Chelsea was reportedly willing to include Marcos Alonso, a Spanish defender, in the deal.
Although Inter believe they are capable of resisting a higher offer, and Lukaku has previously stated his desire to stay at the club, it remains to be seen whether the Champions League winners will make a higher offer.
Lukaku made 15 appearances for Chelsea over three seasons, from 2011 to 2014, but was sold to Everton after an impressive loan season.
In 2017, he came close to returning to the club, but instead chose to join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United for £75 million.
Lukaku scored 42 goals in 96 games for United before joining Inter for a club-record fee of 80 million euros (£74 million) on a five-year contract in 2019.