Atletico Madrid are not prepared to pay more than £20m to sign Chelsea striker Diego Costa, the Independent have reported.
The Spanish international has insisted that he will only be willing to leave Chelsea for his former club, although Chinese side Tianjin Quanjin would reportedly be willing to pay £76m.
This development could potentially scupper Chelsea’s summer recruitment plans, with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez believed to be targeted as replacements for Costa.
Atletico’s reluctance to stretch beyond £20m has made a deal appear unlikely, particularly when Los Rojiblancos have been strongly linked with forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Sandro Ramirez.
The club’s transfer ban, which could yet be lifted following an appeal, has also complicated the situation.
Speaking about his future on Saturday, Costa said: “I don’t have any intention of going. The truth is I am very good here and I have a contract, but if the club want to sell me they know there is only one club I would go to. People talk too much about China and all that.
“I will stay if the club and manager want me. If they want to sell to bring in another forward, there’s no problem, I will go. The whole world knows that Atletico is the only club I would go to. If the club really want to sell me and an offer comes from another team, I stay, but if it’s Atletico I go.
“I haven’t spoken with Atleti. I am very relaxed… China? No. People talk too much about that. There is a World Cup this year, and I want to play in it, and if I go to China that won’t be possible.”
Costa scored 64 goals over a three year spell with Atletico before moving to Chelsea in 2014.