Chelsea's protracted move for David Luiz may have collapsed after Benfica announced they had failed to reach an agreement with the Barclays Premier League champions.
The Blues had looked set to complete the reported £26million signing of the 23-year-old after the Portuguese giants went public for the first time about negotiations between the parties.
But Benfica released a statement on their own website, which read: "Negotiations between Benfica and Chelsea FC, with a view to the possible transfer of David Luiz, were concluded without the parties having reached an agreement."
The clubs are known to have been in and out of talks for a month, ever since Chelsea had a reported £17million bid for the player rejected.
Although Benfica's statement appeared to signal an end to negotiations, Press Association Sport understands the move could yet be resurrected.