Bayern Munich have turned down an opening bid believed to be worth around £40m from Chelsea for the France winger Franck Ribery.
Bayern confirmed yesterday that a bid had been received and, having fallen well short of the German club’s valuation of the player, again insisted that they did not want to sell the 26-year-old.
However, Chelsea remain hopeful that they will eventually secure Ribery, particularly as the other clubs interested in signing the French international appear to be deterred by Bayern’s valuation of the player.
“Chelsea have lodged a bid,” said Bayern chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“I don’t want to talk about sums of money because it is not in our interest. The amount is irrelevant. There is always going to be the perception that Bayern Munich are trying to push the price up and that there is a certain value at which we’ll have to accept, but I’ll say it again: we want to keep Ribéry.
“A player has to respect his contract. We are relaxed and proud that we have one of the best three players in the world under contract.”
Chelsea have focused their efforts on securing Ribéry, having seen efforts to sign numerous other high-profile players frustrated. Kaka joined Madrid for £59m and preliminary discussions had taken place with Valencia over the Spain striker David Villa, though their asking price proved prohibitive.
Interest in Milan’s Andrea Pirlo and Alexandre Pato, as well as Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid, also appear to have cooled.
Meanwhile, negotiations with Internazionale are ongoing over the sales of Ricardo Carvalho and Deco to the Italian club.