Chelsea have had an improved bid worth £6m rejected by Norwich City for their England goalkeeper John Ruddy. The Europa League holders are seeking to secure a No2 to Petr Cech following the summer release of Ross Turnbull and, with their Champions League squad in mind, want the deputy to be classed as "homegrown" with Uefa.
That prompted last week's £5m offer for Ruddy – which amounted to £3m up front and a further £2m in add-ons – which was rejected out of hand by Norwich, who indicated a desire to retain the 26-year-old.
The improved offer has gone the same way and, although Ruddy is understood to be keen on the move to Stamford Bridge despite the prospect of limited opportunities, Chelsea may turn their attention elsewhere. Last year's No3, Hilário, is expected to be given a new 12-month deal to remain at the club.
The club's returning manager, José Mourinho, welcomed his players back to Cobham for pre-season on Monday, the squad – minus those involved at the recent Confederations Cup – undergoing fitness tests and drills before the first double session on Tuesday.