Chelsea's hopes of signing Hamburg SV star Hakan Calhanoglu have been dented after the midfielder's representative said Bayer Leverkusen are the top contenders to secure his client's services.
The Turkey international, who signed a four-year deal with Hamburg from Karlsruher in summer 2012, has emerged as one of the most talented players in the Bundesliga and has been hugely impressive this season, even being compared to Mesut Ozil.
The young attacking midfielder has been linked with a move to Leverkusen next season and his agent, Bektas Demirtas, has hinted that the German club are in pole position to sign the player.
"If he were to move to another club in Germany, then Leverkusen have the best chance. They are a club who are playing in Europe, who would like to buy him and who are also prepared to pay the right price for him," Demirtas told Bild newspaper.
Last month reports in Spain claimed that Jose Mourinho's side would be willing to pay £13m to bring the young attacking midfielder to Stamford Bridge ahead of the summer transfer window – as the Portuguese boss sees the youngster as a great prospect.
The 20-year-old, who has scored 11 goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances this season, has also attracted interest from Bayern Munich, who are considering a summer move to sign him.
Liverpool and Arsenal were keen on the youngster during the January window, but he chose to commit to HSV.
However, Calhanoglu insisted last week he is focused on helping his side to avoid relegation, saying: "This [Bayern's interest] motivates me and it makes me proud. But I am not thinking about that right now. At the moment the focus is on avoiding relegation with the HSV," he told Sky Sports News.