Sao Paulo 'reject Chelsea offer for Maura'
Chelsea have had a £32.4million offer for Brazil midfielder Lucas Maura rejected, according to Sao Paulo president Juvenal Juvenico.
Maura, 19, has grabbed the attention of Europe's biggest clubs after establishing himself as one of Brazil's most promising young players.
The attacking midfielder has already won 11 caps for his country and Juvenico warned only an "enormous offer" will prise him away.
Juvenico claimed a bid of £20.2million from Inter Milan had also already been declined while Real Madrid had made contact to underline the interest. But after Chelsea's big-money offer Juvenico believes the newly-crowned European champions are leading the race for Maura.
"We did not accept the offer but of course Chelsea is the closest to signing Lucas," he told Italian website www.fcinter1908.com. "Inter made an offer of £20.2 million, but this was not considered sufficient by us."
Asked what Chelsea's bid was, he added: "40million euros. I can not say right now (what price Sao Paulo would sell at) because they are assessments that are made taking into account many factors - you know the market. But Lucas is a fantastic player with great qualities who is giving so much to the team."