Chelsea have warned Atletico Madrid they are ready to cancel Alvaro Morata’s loan and call him back if the Spaniards do not make the move permanent this summer.
Morata joined Atletico on an 18-month loan in January, but Chelsea have the option to recall the striker early in this transfer window if Atletico do not buy him.
And, unable to sign new players because of their two-window transfer ban, Chelsea are prepared to exercise that right unless Atletico pay £50 million to keep Morata.
That leaves Atletico needing to raise cash if, as expected, they complete the signing of Portuguese teenager Joao Felix for a reported fee of £112.9 million.
The news will be a huge concern to Morata, who has made it clear that he wants to stay at Atletico, where he scored six goals during the second half of the season.
One of the biggest problems facing incoming head coach Frank Lampard will be how to replace the goals scored by Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid.