Charlton Athletic have turned down a bid from Chelsea for their highly-rated midfielder Scott Parker.

The 24-year-old signed a contract with Charlton for five years last July and the club’s chief executive Peter Varney said: “Scott Parker is not for sale and we do not welcome this enquiry”.

“We sincerely hope that Chelsea will accept our decision in this matter. Parker signed a new contract in the summer and he is vital to us.”

Third-placed Chelsea are looking for cover in midfield after injuries to Emmanuel Petit, Juan Sebastian Veron and Damien Duff.

The spending club have been linked with several players during the transfer window this month but no signings have been confirmed.

Varney added that Parker was “a vital part of our plans as we continue the process of establishing Charlton as one of the top clubs in the country.”