Chelsea's pursuit of Brazilian forward Hulk may be at an end. In fact, it may have never even began.
The Blues have been linked with the Porto star throughout the summer, with reports at one stage suggesting that a move was nearing completion. According to ESPN, however, Chelsea never even entered negotiations because of Porto's inflated asking price.
The report comes after Zenit St Petersburg allegedly tabled a £40 million offer for Hulk. ESPN's source claims that the bid is unlikely to be expected by Porto, with the Portuguese champions said to be after at least £60 million for the 26-year-old, who has a buy-out clause of £85 million.
With Hulk admitting he would welcome a move to Stamford Bridge, Porto could yet ease their tough stance before the close of the transfer window, although Chelsea are unlikely to be holding their breath.
The arrival of Victor Moses is thought to be imminent, with the Wigan star set to be used in the same right-sided forward position where Hulk has flourished in Portugal.
Chelsea could also boost their attacking options by renewing their interest in Germany forward Andre Schurrle. Bayer Leverkusen rejected a £16 million offer from the Blues earlier this summer, but remain keen on the 21-year-old, according to the Daily Mail.
The report claims that Chelsea will up their bid to near the £20 million mark. Whether that will prove enough to tempt Leverkusen to sell remains to be seen. The club had previously stated that any possibility of the highly-rated international leaving this summer had ended.
While Schurrle has been reported as a potential replacement for Didier Drogba and can operate centrally, he has mostly been deployed on the left, where he performed for Germany at Euro 2012.
A more viable option to fill the void left by Drogba's departure is Edinson Cavani. The Napoli striker is much sought-after following his prolific scoring in Serie A over the past two seasons. Although the Partenopei were thought to be unwilling to sell their star man this summer, the Daily Star claims that the club is ready to enter negotiations. Indeed, according to the story, Cavani could be available for as little as €35 million (£27.5m).
That looks an unlikely prospect, especially as Napoli have already lost fellow-forward Ezequiel Lavezzi this summer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo also remains extremely keen to add a right-back to his squad before the Premier League season kicks-off in just over a week's time. The position has long been an area of concern at Stamford Bridge and has become even more so following the departure of Jose Bosingwa during the close season.
Having already been thwarted in their reported attempts to sign Inter's Maicon, Chelsea also appear to have run into problems with their pursuit of Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta.
The Daily Mirror claims that Chelsea have had a £5 million bid rejected by Marseille. Although the 22-year-old is said to still be Chelsea's top target, Di Matteo may also be exploring the idea of signing Juventus' Stephan Lichtsteiner.
While the Switzerland international was a regular as Juventus claimed the Scudetto last season, his place may come under threat with the arrival of the versatile Mauricio Isla from Udinese this summer. Still, it seems unlikely that Juventus will allow Lichtsteiner to leave for as little as £5 million, as the Mirror claims.