Paris Saint-Germain are making a surprise bid to sign Chelsea midfielder Willian in a deadline-day deal.
The French champions have identified the Brazilian, valued by the Blues at £40million plus, as a potential replacement for Neymar who is out for 10 weeks after fracturing a metatarsal.
PSG had considered Arsenal’s Mezut Ozil on a loan but he is understood to have turned down the approach.
Neymar has opted not to undergo surgery yet will miss crucial games including both legs of their Champions League tie with Manchester United.
The Champions league has been the main goal for PSG in recent years as they look to make that next step up in European competition. Neymar’s absence is a huge blow to their plans but they believe Willian could help fill the gap.
The 30-year-old has 18 months left on his contract and has already attracted a bid from Barcelona which was rejected while Chinese club Dalian Yifang also showed strong interest.
Chelsea have been resolute as they look to keep their squad intact for Maurizio Sarri – underlined by their rejection of Bayern Munich’s £35m bid for Callum Hudson-Odoi.
They are reluctant to sell in this window preferring to offload fringe players such as Michy Batshuayi, Danny Drinkwater and Gary Cahill.
A bid for Willian will not be well received and the scale of what they can offer will be hindered by Financial Fairplay Guidelines.
Talks have been ongoing for Everton’s defensive midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye but so far they have fallen short of the asking price.