Chelsea know they could be taken for a ride by Robert de Assis, the brother of Barcelona star Ronaldinho.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich intends to bid £40 million for the Brazilian superstar after two meetings with Assis in the last week.

The Mirror says Chelsea are aware of the possibility they are being used by Ronaldinho and his brother in an attempt to force Barcelona to offer a huge contract extension. The current deal runs out in 2010.

Assis has been wined and dined by AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi in recent months, to little apparent benefit for the European champions. But the belief at the Bridge is it is a risk worth running if Ronaldinho could turn out to be serious about a move to England.

Chelsea chief Peter Kenyon is expected to hold negotiations with Barca chiefs on Thursday in Monaco as clubs attend the UEFA Champions League draw.