Manchester City are reportedly considering signing Metalist Kharkiv midfielder Taison, who has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea.
The Blues were understood to have agreed a £11m deal for Taison. However, the Mirror reports that Metalist are now set to increase their asking price by another £2m after understanding there has been interest from the English champions, Portuguese side Benfica and Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk for the services of Taison.
Chelsea still remain favourites to sign the Brazilian, despite interest from the Premier League champions as their Russian owner Roman Abramovich is now ready to meet Tasion's new asking price. The Ukrainians have urged the Blues to sort out the situation in the next 24 hours, before proceeding in further talks with other clubs.
An earlier IBTimes UK report suggested that the European champions were close to signing Taison after the Brazilian claimed to have contacted the Blues, regarding a possible switch to Stamford Bridge in January. The Mirror claims the player has already taken further steps to obtain a United Kingdom work permit, which could be an issue as Taison is not a senior Brazil international.
Benitez: Chelsea in Transition This Season
Meanwhile, Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez believes that his side are in a transition and claimed his players could lose focus when they are far behind the Premier League leaders. The European champions are currently fourth in the league table with 38 points, trailing league leaders Manchester United by 14 points, though the Blues still have a game in hand.
"I don't need to convince anyone this is a period of transition. We all have enough intelligence and experience to realise this. Anyone can analyse the squad and see that some new players have come in and some others are getting older. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks - the situation is that this is what we have," Benitez said.
"Before at Chelsea they had a lot of big names. Now we have a good team with young players who are doing well but need some experience in the Premier League and some older players who can help them. It's not easy find a reason why we are so strong in the cup competitions but inconsistent in the league. When you are a long way from achieving your target in the league then maybe it is easy for the players to lose focus," he added.