Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has blocked the arrival of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku at the Vicente Calderon despite both clubs have reached a one year loan agreement, reports in Spain claim.
The La Liga champions are desperately looking to bolster their attack and look set to begin their pre-season preparations without a recognised striker following David Villa's and Diego Costa's departures.
And even though Marca reports they are set to complete the signing of Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich they will still need to add another forward to the squad.
Alvaro Negredo, Alexis Sanchez and Roberto Soldado have recently been linked with a move to Atletico but reports in Spain claim that Lukaku was in pole position to move to the club.
Spanish newspapers AS and El Confidencial have both recently reported that Chelsea, Atletico and Lukaku have all already agreed in principal terms over the loan for the striker.
Negotiations between both clubs have taken place in the last weeks regarding Chelsea's move for Diego Costa and their interest in Filipe Luis – with Atletico officials taking advantage of the contact in order to close Lukaku's loan.
However, now El Confidencial claims that even though officials from both clubs have agreed a loan, manager pursue Negredo.
The 21-year-old Belgium international scored 15 goals in all competitions for Everton last year but Simeone prefers Negredo.
Questioned about how they will cope with Costa and Villa's departures, Simeone expressed his confidence in securing two top stars.
"Top strikers have come and gone at Atletico [but] the club have always seemed to be able to minimise the impact when big players leave," Simeone said.
"Fernando Torres left, Diego Forlan left, Sergio Aguero left, Radamel Falcao left - and now Costa and David Villa have moved on - and the team have remained competitive. Atletico have always done well in that respect and I hope the same thing will happen this time with a suitable replacement for Diego."