Chelsea will face a struggle to land Brazil star Paulinho after Corinthians dismissed the prospect of selling the midfielder.
The 24-year-old, who is also being tracked by Inter Milan, signed a new deal at Corinthians earlier this month, but it failed to end speculation over his interest.
However, Corinthians president Mario Gobbi Filho insists his club did not renew Paulinho's contract in order to extract a higher transfer fee and described a possible transfer as "out of the question".
"We have renewed his contract and we have adjusted it," Filho is quoted as saying on CalcioMercatoNews.com.
"Now it is at a level appropriate for Paulinho and the market. We have no intention to sell him, it is out of the question.
"We have a cycle that lasts until July and we renewed his contract to keep him, not to sell him. We do not want to transfer any player in January."