Chelsea face defeat in their bid for Metalist Kharkiv midfielder Taison.
The Sun says representatives of the Metalist Kharkiv star, 24, were last night talking to Shakhtar Donetsk and a move is likely to be concluded this week — even though the player wants out of Ukraine.
Taison was a guest at the Blues’ derby clash with Fulham on November 28.
Personal terms and a transfer fee of £8.5million were agreed and a work permit was in place.
Negotiations were helped by then Metalist president and owner Oleksandr Yaroslavsky being on friendly terms with Blues supremo Abramovich.
But Yaroslavsky sold the club to Serhiy Kurchenko at the end of December.
Kurchenko wants the full £12.4m release clause in Taison’s contract.