Chelsea have reportedly been dealt a blow in the pursuit of Metalist Kharviv forward Taison, as the Ukrainian club's new owner is reluctant to sell the player to the Stamford Bridge club's owner Roman Abramovich.
The Blues were understood to have had an offer accepted by Metalist for the 24-year-old Brazilian's services. However, according to The Sun, Kharkiv's local rivals Shakhtar Donetsk are now closing in on signing the South American, after negotiations with his representatives. The transfer is likely to be concluded by the end of the week.
The report claims Abramovich's good relationship with former Metalist owner Oleksandr Yaroslavsky played a significant role in an £8.5m agreement for Taison. However, Yaroslavsky sold the club to Serhiy Kurchenko two weeks ago and the new owner now wants the suitors to trigger the £12.4m release clause in Taison's contract.
Manchester United and Manchester City are also keeping tabs on the situation but Shakhtar, who saw off completion from Chelsea to earn a spot in the Champions League Round of 16, are now believed to be in pole position for Taison's signature.
Cahill: Chelsea Can Still Reach League Cup Final
Meanwhile, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill insists the Blues are capable of overturning the two goal deficit and thereby qualifying for the League Cup final this season.
The west London outfit suffered a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge against Swansea City in the first leg of the semi final in midweek and will now have to overcome the odds if they are to come out on top after the second leg at the Liberty Stadium later this month.
However, the former Bolton Wanderers star feels Chelsea can still reach the final at Wembley and referred to the Blues' performance in the Champions League last season, when they came from 3-1 behind to overcome Napoli in the second leg of the Round of 16.
"It is never over. We created enough chances to go in at half-time 3-0 or 4-0 up, and if we take those chances in the away leg and keep it tight, we will win," Cahill told the Daily Star.
"It will be difficult because I've certainly found it tough when I've been to Swansea on my last three visits. I got two draws with Chelsea and lost with Bolton, so it is a difficult place to go. But we showed we can turn it round when we did it against Napoli in the Champions League last season, so this team can do it - and we need to," the 27-year-old added.