AC Milan claim they have been given permission by Chelsea to open negotiations with striker Didier Drogba.
Drogba has been linked with a move to the Italian giants following a turbulent season which ended in ignominy for the Ivory Coast international.
The 30-year-old former Marseille hitman was sent off in the Champions League Final defeat to Manchester United in Moscow.
Drogba has netted 50 goals in 110 appearances for the Blues during four seasons at Stamford Bridge.
However, vice-president of the Italian club, Adriano Galliani, claims that although the Rossoneri have been given the green light to talk to Drogba, they have been blocked in their attempts to sign team-mate and former Milan favourite Andriy Shevchenko.
The Ukraine striker has been largely disappointing since he joined Chelsea from Milan in a £30million deal two years ago.
"Chelsea have authorised us to open negotiations with Drogba," Galliani told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Unfortunately, Chelsea still consider Andriy unsellable. This decision makes us very sad."
Milan have also been strongly linked with a move for Arsenal's Togo international striker Emmanuel Adebayor.