Shakhtar Donetsk will not sell Alex Teixeira to Chelsea for anything less than €40m (£28.7m, $43.2m), according to his manager Mircea Lucescu. Defeat to Bournemouth on 5 December, their eighth in the league this season, left the Blues just three points off relegation, heightening speculation that the club will have little choice but to try and buy their way out of trouble in January.
While Jose Mourinho claims he will not make any demands on the board, the club continue to be linked with a number of high-profile targets, including Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and Leicester City's Jamie Vardy.
But according to the player himself, Chelsea have already made an approach for Shakhtar's Teixeira, one of Europe's most prolific players this season with 22 goals in 15 league appearances.
But if Chelsea wish to sign the Brazil international to help address their faltering season, they will have to pay top dollar. "Alex is now worth more than €40m," Shakhtar boss Lucescu was quoted as saying by Tutto Mercato Web. "I think at the end of the season, were he to continue with this level of performance – his value will be €50m."
Lucescu adds that if Teixeira was already playing in a more established league then his fee would be closer to the £44.3m Paris Saint-Germain paid Manchester United for Angel di Maria.
"If he was playing in a more competitive league, the transfer would be at the same level as that of Di Maria."
Speaking to Brazilian outlet Lance! in November, Teixeira admitted he is desperate to seal a "dream" move to the Premier League, but believes getting it done in January will prove difficult.
"What I saw and what my manager said was that Chelsea, Juventus and PSG made proposals. I'm glad to have received the proposal of Chelsea as they are a big club in Europe, but my manager will sort that.
'It's my dream, I have spoken to many people who have the desire to play in the Premier League, because I think it's the best championship, the most competitive. For January, I believe it is very difficult because it is in the middle of the championship. Shakhtar have said they will not release me in January, only at the end of the season. But I'm with a clear head."