Chelsea have joined Liverpool in the race for Mohamed Salah and have made an opening £11m bid for the forward, according to the Daily Mail.
Liverpool were in advanced talks with Basel for the Egypt international but Chelsea's untimely intervention has put a dampener on Brendan Rodgers' pursuit of their first January signing.
Chelsea are looking at Salah as a possible replacement for Juan Mata who is set to complete a move to Manchester United in the next few days. The forward scored home and away against Chelsea in the group stages of the Champions League as Basel completed a double over the Blues.
This is the second time this season that Chelsea are looking to hijack a deal from a Premier League club, having already scuppered Tottenham in their pursuit of Willian last summer.
The forward has scored 17 goals in 27 apperances this seaosn for Basel and would be an attractive propect for either club who are blessed with a wealth of attacking talent.
Basel are reportedly waiting for a bid in the range of £16m and are likely to sell to any club who are willing to meet their valuation. The Reds are unwilling to pay more than £12m for the player but Chelsea's financial muscle may force them to consider, having already lost Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Borussia Dortmund last summer for a similar last ditch bid.
Liverpool are currently fourth in the league, level on points with Tottenham Hotspur with Manchester United and Everton breathing down their necks. Salah's arrival will alleviate the pressure on the likes of Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho and allow the former Swansea manager to rotate his squad better. The Reds face Everton in the Merseyside derby in midweek at Anfield, a game which is likely to tell us a lot about either team's Champions League ambitions.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are sitting pretty third in the table, two points behind league leaders Arsenal and secured a massive win over Mancheter United on Sunday to keep their challenge alive for Jose Mourinho's third Premier League title with the Blues.