Chelsea have reportedly failed with a £22million offer for Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric but could return with an improved bid.
The Croatian star has emerged as one of the Premier League's most creative and stylish performers since arriving at White Hart Lane in 2008.
A series of sparkling displays for Spurs last season reportedly attracted the attention of several clubs, with Manchester United believed to be admirers of the 25-year-old.
However, it is Chelsea who are believed to have made the first move for Modric this summer, lodging a big-money bid for his services.
Tottenham rejected the proposal but it is understood that the Blues are planning to return with an improved offer that will further test their resolve.
Chelsea are currently without a manager after sacking Carlo Ancelotti but owner Roman Abramovich appears ready to invest heavily in the squad as he is determined to bounce back after a season without silverware.
Spurs have previously made it clear that they intend to keep hold of all their key players after missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification.
Harry Redknapp stated over the weekend that Modric was crucial to their hopes of future success, saying: "If we sell Luka we are just a selling club basically."
Modric, though, has refused to rule out the possibility of a transfer this summer.