Inter Milan have denied that they are preparing to tempt Tottenham’s hottest property Gareth Bale to the San Siro this summer.
Rumours are rife that the Serie A giants are ready to shell out a cool £40m for the Welsh wing ace, who has risen to global prominence over the last 18 months.
Most notable was his hat-trick against Inter, while he is widely acclaimed now as one of the top left-sided players in Europe.
However Inter’s chief executive officer denied a report that they are prepared to break the record for a UK national to bring him to Italy.
“It is incorrect,” Inter CEO Ernesto Paolillo said. “It’s not true.”
As well as his hat-trick in the 4-3 defeat, he also provided two crosses for goals in the return match at White Hart Lane which Spurs won 3-1 in November.
Meanwhile, Chelsea were last night still waiting for the signature of Benfica's Brazilian centre-half David Luiz, with sources in Portugal suggesting that Carlo Ancelotti's club had been hit by a late price hike taking his value up to £30m.
The deal which has seen Chelsea secure a work permit for the 23-year-old had already become tortuous, with a dispute about how much money would be paid up front. Benfica, who badly need the cash, had wanted £25m in one instalment and are understood to have rejected Chelsea's offer of £20m, with the rest in several instalments.
The Benfica board are keen to cash in as a soon as possible, but club president Luis Filipe Vieira is contending with the unpopularity of the decision to sell the player with the club's fans.
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus gave the impression that Luiz was leaving on Wednesday night when, in the club's cup tie away to Rio Ave, the defender stepped up to take a penalty kick, which he has never be known to do before. If it was an attempt to deliver him a send-off goal then it failed, because Luiz missed — one of two missed penalties which saw Benfica lose 2-0.
Asked if this was Luiz's last game, Jesus, replied: “Maybe. I know he is good, but there have been other offers.”
If Luiz does not join Chelsea now a move to Real Madrid would be more likely this summer.”