Manchester City have been given permission to open talks with Valencia midfielder David Silva, but Chelsea could yet make a move for the player.
Roberto Mancini has been linked with a move for Silva for weeks, and now his Spanish club have agreed to let City talk to the winger. The two clubs have yet to agree a fee but it now seems certain that Silva will be heading to the Premier League.
"As has been said, there is interest from Manchester City and we have permitted them to talk to the player, but we have reached no agreement and we have not talked about a fee," said Valencia's deputy chairman Javier Gomez.
Although City appear to be in pole position to land the midfielder's signature, it is far from certain that he will opt to move to Eastlands. Only on Sunday, Silva spoke of his desire to join Chelsea and the player's agent has again suggested he may prefer a move to Stamford Bridge.
"We're weighing up offers from three clubs and one is Chelsea," his agent, Julio Llorente, told the Daily Mail. "If Silva doesn't want to go to City, the transfer isn't possible."
Silva, currently with Spain at the World Cup finals, is expected to cost in the region of £28 million. While that is small change to owners of both clubs, it could be that Chelsea may prefer to spend big on a striker rather.
Last weekend Silva said of possible interest from Chelsea: "Chelsea have established themselves as one of the best clubs in Europe over the last five years. They might not have the history of Real Madrid or AC Milan but they are creating their own history now.
"There is no reason why in the future Chelsea can't be as decorated as Real Madrid. Chelsea probably have, along with Barcelona, the best squad in football and if any player joins Chelsea he knows he is going to win things.
"In players like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, they have players who would get into any team in the world and it would be a pleasure to play with them. There is no doubt in my mind that Chelsea would be a great club to play for - and a club where I could fulfil my ambition of league titles and the European Cup.
"The Premier League is still the place to be. No other league in the world has six or seven Champions League-quality teams."