Chelsea have had a third bid for Radja Nainggolan rejected by Roma.
The Blues had failed with two previous bids for the Belgian star, 28, and had come back with a new deal worth £33m.
But this offer has also been turned down by the Serie A club.
Nainggolan has insisted that he is happy to stay at Roma, and the news may force Chelsea to consider other transfer options.
These include another Belgian, Axel Witsel, currently at Russian side Zenit St Petersburg.
Witsel, 27, is adept in central midfield, on the right-wing, and also in a more advanced role.
Witsel is also on Everton’s radar, and the Toffees are also tracking Rennes winger Kamil Grosicki.
Everton are seeking midfield reinforcements, with Gareth Barry moving towards the end of his career plus the loss of Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar.
Grosicki, 28, is closing in on 50 caps for the Polish national side, and has played a part in their advancement to the Quarter Finals on Euro 2016.
By Steve Osborne @BlizzardSteve75