Chelsea have now launched a late bid to rope in Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches amid huge interest from AC Milan and Manchester United.
Sanches was under the radar of top-flight European clubs but he opted to join Bayern from Benfica last summer.
The Portuguese youngster burst into the scene after proving his mettle at Benfica and also won the Golden Boy award in 2016.
He played a pivotal role and guided Portugal to their first ever Euro Cup triumph in 2016.
However, he failed to hold on to his form and could not match the standards at Bayern Munich – making only 25 appearances last season.
Sanches has also admitted that he could part ways with Bayern Munich after lacking game-time under boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Sanches told Bild: “Personally, I am not satisfied with my first year in Munich.”
“Of course, I’d like to play more.”
“That’s why I would like to change and go to a club that can give me more minutes.”
Earlier, FootTheBall had also reported that Serie A giants AC Milan could rope in Sanches on an initial two-year loan deal, with an option to buy him permanently for €47 million.
But now, Premier League champions Chelsea are in pole position to secure the signature of the Portuguese midfielder as Milan CEO Marco Fassone revealed that negotiations over a potential move have broken down due to the hefty asking price.
Sanches has also been linked with a move to Manchester United with Jose Mourinho desperately searching the market to sign a midfielder this summer.
Chelsea have joined Milan in the race for Sanches and have enquired about taking the midfielder on loan.
Sanches displayed incredible form in Bayern’s 3-2 International Champions Cup win against Chelsea on Tuesday.
Conte liked his performance against the Blues and has now enquired about his availability.
Sanches is not happy with life due to lack of game-time, having made only 17 Bundesliga appearances last season.
The midfielder wants to enjoy more playing time as he is keen to seal his place in the Portugal national team with the 2018 World Cup in Russia knocking at the door.
Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed that they will allow the Portuguese midfielder to leave on loan – with Chelsea making a late enquiry for the services of the youngster.
Rummenigge told Gazzetta dello Sport: “There are at least 10 teams after Sanches.”
“Conte asked for some information about him after Tuesday’s game because he knows he can make the difference on the pitch.”
Rummenigge added: “Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with his performance against Chelsea so we can make some reasoning on him later.”
“Almost certainly we’ll let him leave just on loan, we still count on him.”