Lyon have revealed they have rejected a bid from Chelsea for star midfielder Michael Essien.
Chelsea have been strongly linked with Essien in recent weeks and are hoping to steal a march on their rivals by luring him to Stamford Bridge.
Essien, 22, is one of the most sought-after stars in Europe with Manchester United holding a long-term interest in the player, although Lyon have always insisted they want to keep the player.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho revealed last week that he wanted sign three new players over the summer with a midfielder among his targets.
Essien has now been revealed as the target with Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas claiming they had rejected a big bid for the Ghanaian star.
"Chelsea came up with an offer and left with nothing," Aulas told L'Equipe.
"We have the best players in Europe in the midfield with Mahamadou Diarra, Michael Essien, Juninho."
Essien has previously admitted that he would like to play in England and despite having their first offer rejected Chelsea are likely to make a new offer for the powerful midfielder.