Chelsea could clinch a deal to sign Brazilian wing-back Daniel Alves after the highly-rated 24-year-old was omitted from Sevilla's squad for the Champions League clash with AEK Athens.
The Spanish side recently rejected a £24million bid for Alves, who would have been unable to star for any other team in the Champions League this season if he had been picked to play against AEK.
The development in the transfer saga comes after Alves had threatened to go on strike if Sevilla did not allow him to leave.
He said: "The decision to play or not on Wednesday is mine, and I don't have to think very hard about it because, if I do, then a lot of doors will close for me.
"I want to grow as a player and, if I have to do that at a new club, then so be it."
Sevilla coach Juande Ramos then confirmed Alves was "not on the list" for the AEK game, adding: "He told me he was not in the right condition to play and I have informed the club about the situation.
"I don't know if he has agreed this with someone else in the club because they are in talks, but we knew this might happen. I expected something like this.
"Daniel is an influential player and the fact that clubs of the stature of Chelsea and Real Madrid are after him shows how important he is."